Gov’t account surplus reaches MOP60b with low execution rate

The Financial Bureau has released the central account of the Macau government. It shows a MOP60.4 billion surplus in the first half of this year, which sees an increase of 6.5 percent. However, the expenditure execution rate was only 29.6 percent.
In the first six months of this year, the government revenue was MOP83.4 billion, rising by 13 percent when compared to the same period last year and achieving an execution rate of 59.1 percent.
Around 85 percent of the revenue was from direct taxes from gaming, which has increased 16 percent year-on-year to MOP71 billion.
Moreover, there was a 34.6 percent surge in the expenditure to MOP22.9 billion in the first half of the year. Nevertheless, the expenditure execution rate was merely 29.6 percent. This means that the departments are not spending as much as they anticipated.
Lawmakers have constantly criticized the government for the low execution rate.
During a meeting of the Legislative Assembly’s Follow-up Committee on Public Finance in February, Committee president Mak Soi Kun expressed that a low enforcement rate is not a healthy phenomenon.
“You [public departments] only applied [for money] if you had to use it. Why is it that you did not use it in the first half of the year but only plan spend the money in the second half of the year? (…) It is like we human beings. We have to have meals everyday. Why is it that there is no need for that many meals in the first half of the year and push all them to the second half? This is not healthy and has shown that there are problems in the financial system,” Mak Soi Kun said.

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