Legislative Assembly Third Standing Committee President Cheang Chi Keong said Thursday that the committee’s members had finalised their discussion on the government’s bill on another pay hike for public servants.
Cheang said the committee members had signed a report to confirm that they agree with the terms and conditions of the government’s proposal.
Cheang said the committee members backed the proposed 5.71 percent increase, from 70 patacas per salary point to 74 patacas. He also said the bill would be submitted to a plenary session later this month for an article-by-article vote, where he expected it to be passed.
The committee’s report states that the members understand the reason behind the proposed increase is mainly to ensure that public servants will not be affected by inflationary pressure. The committee members also noted that the salary hike will be the seventh since 2005 and that pensioners will also benefit.
Macau’s inflation rate stood at 5.50 percent last year, according to official statistics.
While the report states that the committee members concur with the government’s proposal to raise public servants’ salaries across the board, regardless of their rank and position, they called on the government to implement a differential system in which public servants with lower salary points would receive a higher pay rise to avoid widening the salary gap between those in higher positions and those in lower positions.
The committee made a similar suggestion last year, which the government chose to ignore.
The pay raise is slated to come into effect next month. The government has said the hike will cost the public coffers an extra 550 million patacas this year.
According to official statistics, Macau had 24,876 public servants at the end of the third quarter of last year, including 10,321 permanent staff. Some 37 percent of all public servants work in the area of public security comprising the police, fire brigade, customs and correctional service. Public servants account for about of Macau’s total workforce.
Public servants and utility staff are the city’s top earners, ahead of finance and gaming sector employees, according to official statistics.(macaunews/macaupost)