policy address 2023

Cash handouts remain as gov’t bids to revive the economy

The Chief Executive (CE) yesterday presented the Policy Address for 2023 (LAG23) at the Legislative Assembly (AL), giving particular focus to the revitalization of the economy and continuing prevention and control of the pandemic.

Of particular interest to residents is the continuation of the government’s Wealth Partaking Scheme, also called annual “cash handouts.” The scheme will continue for all permanent and non-permanent residents as in previous years. Each permanent resident will receive 10,000 patacas while the non-permanent will receive 6,000 patacas. All other subsidies and support plans remain unchanged, including government support for water and electricity bills.

In a year where the closing of many companies and businesses has completely changed the focus from housing-related concerns to unemployment, little was presented to the government to tackle unemployment. The CE only advanced a new employer allowance scheme for the hiring of long-term unemployed residents.

The new scheme offers up to 19,968 patacas to employers who hire locals who have been unemployed for over 60 days. The full amount of the allowance will be paid in two six-monthly amounts.

After noting there have been no changes to subsidies for the elderly, the government said it is preparing works for a daycare center at one of the public housing estates with a capacity to serve 240 people. It will also create a team dedicated to door-to-door care, similar to those currently run by private and non-governmental organizations.

Sandwich-class housing

Public housing dedicated to the so-called “sandwich class” will not be ready for next year, Ho told the media in a press conference after the AL presentation. Ho was speaking about other measures of support for the population.

The CE said the new type of public housing to be built at the Avenida de Wai Long in Taipa is only in the first phase of design and conceptualization.

“At the Wai Long, we will be dedicating efforts to the first phase. We expect to build [in the future] 7,000 to 10,000 housing units [at this location],” he said, adding, “In 2023 we will dedicate our efforts in the design and concept [to launch this construction] before commencing any other projects [of the same type] in other locations,” the CE remarked.

On public housing, the CE said he hoped to have some 5,000 housing units tendered next year so residents can begin their application processes. But this will not happen as quickly for the “sandwich-class housing,” at least not in 2023.

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