The government announced Thursday that it will start paying the 652,808 beneficiaries of its annual “wealth sharing” scheme on July 2, costing the government about 5.65 billion patacas ( US$ 706.25 million)– 3.6 percent of its budget for this year.
Leong Heng Teng, spokesman for the 11-member advisory Executive Council (ExCo), said during a press conference yesterday at Government Headquarters that the government had completed a by-law on this year’s cash handout.
The scheme provides all permanent residents with a cash handout of 9,000 patacas this year, up from 8,000 patacas last year; non-permanent residents will receive 5,400 patacas, up from 4,800 patacas last year. The scheme was started in 2008 when the amount was 5,000 patacas and 3,000 patacas for the two population groups respectively.
According to the government, students who receive a government subsidy, retired public servants and residents who receive subsidies from the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) will receive their cash by bank transfer on July 2, followed by those who receive an IAS special subsidy for residents aged 65 or above. Everybody else will start receiving their money from July 7, the older residents first, in a ten-week period. Most beneficiaries will receive their “wealth-sharing” cheque in the post.
Macau’s population stood at 614,500 at the end of the first quarter, including about 145,000 imported workers who are not entitled to the cash handout.
However, permanent and non-permanent residents not living in Macau are entitled to the handout. Tens of thousands of Macau residents live in Hong Kong, the mainland and Taiwan as well overseas in countries such as Australia, Portugal, the US, Canada and Brazil.
There are no age or nationality restrictions to the scheme.
The “wealth-sharing” payments will end on September 12 for those born between 2006 and last year.(macaunews/macaupost)