Financial support for employees and businesses distribution expected in June

Local government may start distributing the financial relief exclusively for employees and business in June, the Secretary for Administration and Justice said during a press conference today (Friday).

The Executive Council has completed the discussion on the administrative regulation related to financial relief for local employees, freelancers and business owners. The regulation proposes a subsidy of 15,000 pacatas up to 200,000 patacas for qualified people. All individuals must be Macau local residents in order to receive the money.

The money will be distributed either through bank transfer or mail. The total budget for the plan is 6,669,875,000 patacas.

The local community has been concerned about some professionals, particularly freelancers without tax registration. The Secretary brought good news for those professionals.

According to Cheong, taxi drivers, tricycle drivers, tour guides, stalls, street market vendors, water taxi drivers, and fishermen belong to a special sector and may not registered for tax.

The regulation prescribed a solution for those working as taxi drivers, tour guides and some other types, Cheong added.

The details related to the actual provision and policies remained undisclosed during Friday’s ExCo press con, as local government will explain in a press conference on Saturday.

The Secretary briefly disclosed that the responsible government department will conduct background reviews on any subsidy applicants coming from the concerned categories. Once confirmed eligible, they will be granted 10,000 patacas.

Earlier this year, the Legislative Assembly (AL) passed the amendment of 2020 budge bill, which includes this batch of subsidies. This administrative regulation will come into effect tomorrow.

It is estimated that a total of 274,616 employees, 7,040 freelancers and 38,398 businesses will be benefited by the subsidy.

Subsidy for employees suggest that eligible taxpayers will be entitled to a monthly grant of 5,000 patacas for a period of three months. The number was based on the median monthly income in 2019 of employed Macao residents, namely 20,000 patacas. The subsidy was designed to cover 25 percent of the 2019 median monthly income.

Two categories of taxpayer are not eligible for the subsidy: those who are entitled to receive a rebate of 20,000 patacas – the ceiling of rebate on personal income tax – for the 2018 fiscal year; and people working for public bodies.

Grants for individual self-employed professionals give taxpayers who are self-employed professionals a subsidy between 15,000 patacas to 200,000 patacas, depending on the number of employees hired.

Lessees of wet market stalls, holders of hawker licences, and holders of tricycle rickshaw licenses will each be able for a grant of 10,000 patacas. Drivers leasing a taxi will each be entitled to a grant of 10,000 patacas; The respective expiry dates of existing limited-term taxi licenses will be extended for a six-month period; vehicle inspection due dates will be extended for a six-month period for those taxis with unlimited-term licenses;

Eligible companies will be entitled to a grant ranging from 15,000 patacas to 200,000 patacas, depending on the number of employees hired.

Any company receiving Government grants that then – within six months of such receipt – lays off employees without justified reason, will be required to refund such grant in proportion to the level of such lay-offs.

Public utility companies – those providing electricity, water, natural gas and other fuels – will be excluded from the support measures.

In addition, entities respectively providing the following services will not be covered: public bus operators; the city’s Light Rapid Transit system operator; public telecommunications firms; financial service businesses; formal education institutes and higher education institutes; social service agencies; and gaming companies.

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