By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
Eligible Macau residents are expected to receive cash handouts as well as the MOP10,000 start-up capital for their central saving accounts from the government at the end of July.
Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen told reporters yesterday at the Legislative Assembly after the final passage of the bill to revise the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget.
Tam said the government hoped to launch this year’s cash handout scheme in the second half of July, adding the related administrative regulation has already been delivered to the Executive Council for deliberation.
Each eligible Macau permanent and non-permanent resident will be able to get MOP6,000 and MOP3,600 respectively, the same amounts as in 2009.
Meanwhile, the Secretary also confirmed that the name list of the central saving system, which forms the second tier of the double-tier social security system, will be finalised in July.
Notification letters will also be mailed to all the around 300,000 eligible residents within next month. Yet, among them about 4,000 residents’ personal details need to be further verified, Tam said.
Then it is planned that at the end of July the government will put MOP10,000 as start-up capital into each of the central saving accounts.
According to the regulation, while account holders below 65 years old cannot yet mobilise the capital, those at 65 or above will be able to lodge an application as early as in August to withdraw all or part of the MOP10,000.
Tam said it is estimated that applicants should receive the money, perhaps in cheques, in September.
He also stressed that the application method must ensure convenience for the elderly residents, and the government is considering asking social organisations to assist in the applications.
The overall operation and management of the central saving system will be formulated by a legal framework in the future, he added.
On the other hand, during the plenary discussion on the bill to amend the budget plan, lawmaker Ng Kuok Cheong pointed out that the government needed to change the budget planning system by excluding estimated surplus from the amount of overall expenditure.
The Secretary said the government has already obtained the same opinion from the standing committee and hoped to “make better arrangements” in preparing for the 2011 budget plan.