Legislature strives to meet public expectations

Thursday, February 4, 2010
Issue 933, Page 3
Word count: 370
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Third Standing Committee responsible to deliberate the bill to revise the social security system said it will complete the work as soon as possible so that more Macau residents can be part of the protection.

President of the committee Cheang Chi Keong said after yesterday’s meeting both the committee and the government have come to a consensus that they are “shouldering big responsibilities and thus they hope to finish the deliberation as soon as possible [as a response to the public]”.

However, he reiterated that the bill will not be put through rashly, adding that adequate discussions must be conducted.

In order to achieve the goal, Cheang told reporters legal advisors from the government and the Legislative Assembly have agreed to work on the final work report little by little after every committee meeting, instead of starting to compile it only after all the meetings are held.

On the other hand, Cheang said the lawmakers and government representatives had discussed the first chapter consisting five provisions of the bill in the meeting yesterday, and no major problem was reported.

However, when it came to Articles 6 and 7 in the second chapter concerning who will be qualified as beneficiaries and contributors to the Social Security Fund, the committee president said the contents are unable to fully reflect the reasons why the government wants to revise the social security system.

The existing social security system only covers employers and employees (only Macau residents) who respectively are the contributors and beneficiaries of the Social Security Fund.

Yet, recently the government has presented this bill aiming to expand the coverage to non-employee Macau permanent residents aged 22 or above.

In addition, Cheang said that the new social security system will allow beneficiaries to be the contributor at the same time.

Article 7 however only mentions employers who are obliged to register as a Social Security Fund contributor.

Hence Cheang said major amendments will be made on the two provisions, in a bid to avoid unfairness or causing impact to the rights and interests of beneficiaries respectively in the current and new social security systems.

The next committee meeting will be held at 3.30pm on February 11 to further discuss the two provisions.

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