AL plenary

Lawmakers challenge use of CPI to determine pension adjustments

A significant number of lawmakers have expressed opinions opposing the use of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) as the main mechanism for determining whether to raise pensions for the elderly in Macau.

The lawmakers expressed their opposition to the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Elsie Ao Ieong, at the Legislative Assembly (AL) recently.

In response, the Secretary confirmed that the mechanism is attached to the CPI – that is, inflation – and that inflation must reach a threshold of a 3% increase to trigger the pension revision mechanism.

Several lawmakers disagreed with the use of the CPI, noting that this index takes into account many kinds of products and services that are not used by the elderly. Instead, they proposed that the government establish a special ‘senior citizens CPI’ that can more closely reflects the rising costs of food and other necessities used by senior citizens.

Ao Ieong noted that, for the time being, the rules state that the CPI is currently the most relevant metric to underpin pension updates, remarking that deviating from its use would be irresponsible and contrary to existing legislation.

Nevertheless, she assured that the government would consider the suggestions and opinions of the lawmakers to explore the feasibility of implementing a specialized CPI measure tailored to senior citizens’ needs.

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