Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said on Sunday that the government would “cautiously” consider rolling out the third round of financial support measures for residents and businesses in line with next year’s performance of the local economy.
“[For the time being] I cannot say yes or no. If the local economy improves next year, why would the government still have to roll out additional financial support measures? If next year’s economy continues to be very bad, the government will have no choice but to support residents. This matter is what the government will have to assess,” Ho said.
Ho’s remarks about the possible extra financial support measures on Saturday came after he told reporters early this month that the local government should not waste money to roll out the third round of financial support measures as the issuing of Individual Visit Scheme (IVS) tour permits for all mainlanders to travel to Macao had resumed late last month.
Ho also reassured the public that the Macao Special Administrative Region’s financial reserves of over MOP 600 billion (US$75.24 billion) would enable Macao to get through difficult times for many years. But Ho was quick to add that it would not be good to “live off the fat of the land”. Ho said that while there was no reason for the government not to support residents if they encounter financial difficulties, everybody would have to think about how to ensure that residents are supported financially in a more accurate way.
Meanwhile, Ho also said that when he attended last Wednesday’s ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of Shenzhen as a special economic zone (SEZ) there, President Xi Jinping told him that he acknowledges Macao’s achievements in its COVID-19 prevention and control work. Xi urged the Macao government to continue its strict COVID-19 prevention work to ensure that there is not a new wave of COVID-19 in the MSAR, considering the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
(The Macau Post Daily/Macau News)
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