Macau, China, 20 Mar – Macau’s government accumulated fiscal reserves reached US$ 6.55 billion (52.43 billion patacas) at the end of 2007, the latest year available for the data, Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen told the Legislative Assembly (AL) yesterday.
Francis Tam revealed the figure during a report on the government’s budgetary performance in 2007. He added that the government’s revenues stood at 53.71 billion patacas in that year, resulting in a surplus of 30.66 billion patacas.
According to the report, in 2007 the government spent 18.44 percent on public administration (mostly public servants’ salaries and benefits), 15.25 percent on social affairs 13.34 percent on education and 8.25 percent on public security.
In 2007, the government spent 23.34 billion patacas on public investment.
Francis Tam also said the government would consult the public on its fiscal reserves system “as soon as possible”.
Meanwhile, Commissioner of Audit Fatima Choi Mei Lei told the legislature that the government’s 2007 account included “materially relevant errors” in the way its revenues and expenditures were credited and debited.
Fátima Choi said that the Commission of Audit was “professional, independent, fair, objective and serious” in its work, based on international accounting standards, and it was her duty to inform the public about the commission’s views on the government’s “erroneous” accounting practice that should have observed official rules.
According with Fatima Choi several mistakes amounting to over 61.5 billion patacas were found in the 2007 Consolidated Financial Statements.
Francis Tam responded by insisting that the government’s accounting practice was appropriate, adding that it launched its new public-sector accounting rules only on January 1, 2007. However, he was quick to add that the government would speed up its review of public-sector accounting, including its fiscal management system, over the next two years.