Macau financial reserve of 74 MME “not abundant”, should be used with caution
The head of the Macau Government warned today that the financial reserve “is not abundant” and “caution must be exercised” in its use to finance support in the face of the economic crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
In the local parliament, questioned by deputies about public support measures for the population and companies, Ho Iat Seng stressed that today “the economy is an unknown”, recalling the uncertainty that is experienced worldwide.
According to the latest data from the Monetary Authority of Macau, the territory’s financial reserve is 613.02 billion patacas (74.08 billion euros).
The amount grew in 2020 and 2021, even in a crisis scenario, but the Government was forced to use the financial reserve of more than 100 billion patacas (12 billion euros) to finance support to the population and companies, sometimes with the distribution of money for consumption in local commerce and tax benefits, sometimes with the opening of credit lines.
In June and July, the authorities announced a total of 20 billion patacas (2.42 billion euros) to fund a new round of aid.
The use of half of that amount has yet to be defined. The Macau Chinese General Trade Association suggested that an amount, made available on consumer cards, be distributed to non-resident workers, removed from any government support throughout the pandemic.
The head of government expressed reticence about the possibility and recalled that the executive does not have to accept all the suggestions made, in a session in which he sought to underline the government’s efforts to guarantee priority support to local residents and workers.
About 80% of the Macau Government’s revenue comes from taxes on the gaming industry, which has been experiencing an unprecedented crisis since January 2020.
With no tourists and with the high rollers market sinking, due to border restrictions in the territory – which follows mainland China’s zero-case policy -, and the capital flow control imposed by Beijing, casinos have been accumulating significant losses. .
A result with a profound impact on the economy of Macau, whose unemployment rate practically tripled compared to the last pre-pandemic year in the territory, very dependent on tourism and the mainland Chinese market.
Ho Iat Seng was present today at the AL to answer questions from deputies “about the Governmental Action Lines and social issues”.
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