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Macao residents hit jackpot with gov't subsidies

By Wang Ping (People's Daily Overseas Edition)

08:07, November 23, 2011

Edited and translated by People's Daily Online

The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government has been handing out cash to local residents every year since 2008. The region's Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on said in his annual policy address on Nov. 15 that the SAR government will offer 7,000 patacas for every permanent resident, and 4,200 patacas for every non-permanent resident in 2012.

Small region, high welfare

Other welfare measures in Chui's policy address are also impressive, including injecting another 6,000 patacas to the Central Saving System account of each qualified permanent resident who is over 22 years old and lives in Macao for at least 183 days a year. Furthermore, each Central Saving System account has an initial balance of 10,000 patacas. The SAR government also plans to increase pension benefits and public housing subsidies next year.

With an area of slightly over 30 square kilometers and a population of over 500,000, Macao is world renowned for its gambling industry and offers exceptionally high welfare benefits.

Macao residents enjoy almost free medical care services, and children's education is not a burden for them because the SAR government provides free compulsory education for all local children from kindergarten to senior high school, not to mention the textbook subsidies each year and various college scholarships.

Macao has not put all eggs in one basket

Macao is able to offer high welfare benefits thanks to strong financial backing. There is a 35 percent tax on the local gambling industry, which is a major source of the region's public revenue. Furthermore, the regional government only spends part of its revenue each year, ensuring a steady increase in fiscal surplus year after year.

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Anthony at 2011-11-23202.171.253.*
Hit jackpot? That"s bullshit. I would rather the government curb the skyrocketing inflation rather than handing out money.

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