Sweeter Macau payouts

Top News | Phoenix Un 16 Nov 2018

Macau will hand out MOP$10,000 cash to each permanent resident in the New Year - up from this year's MOP$9,000.

It is the 12th consecutive handout since 2008.

This giveaway and other sweeteners were the focus of Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on's policy address delivered at the Legislative Assembly yesterday.

"I suggest to continue the wealth-partaking scheme in 2019, handing out MOP$10,000 to each permanent resident, and MOP$6,000 to each non-permanent resident," Chui said.

The 2008 handout, made by then-chief executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah, was MOP$5,000. From 2014 the giveaway was MOP$9,000.

The handouts total MOP$94,000 for each resident from 2008 to next year.

Chui announced other welfare measures, including a MOP$600 medical voucher to every permanent resident, a MOP$10,000 kick-start allocation to the Central Provident Fund account of eligible residents, and an extra injection of MOP$7,000 to their accounts.

The giveaways total MOP$18.7 billion.

Chui said Affordable Housing will resume next year with 4,000 flats.

Housing is also a serious problem in Macau and Affordable Housing - similar to the Home Ownership Scheme in Hong Kong - has been suspended for years.

Chui said the government will start the construction of the fourth Macau-Taipa bridge connecting the New Zone A to Taipa as soon as possible. This follows the launch of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, which has added to the congested traffic at the Pearl of the Orient roundabout on the peninsula.

In his news conference, Chui said he was happy that Macau had a MOP$40 billion surplus, and the government wanted to share the wealth.

Asked about the six gaming concessions and sub-concessions that will expire in 2020 and 2022, he said: "There is still time before 2020, and we'll let the public know the legal basis by then."

phoenix.un@singtaonewscorp.com

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