Pandemic relief | Gov’t to consider launching third stimulus measures  

The government will consider rolling out the third round of stimulus measures under “special circumstances,” the Director of the Economic Bureau (DSE), Tai Kin Ip, said.
Tai’s remarks were delivered in response to a query raised by lawmaker Leong Sun Iok over whether the SAR government would earmark another budget for another round of stimulus packages.
In view of Macau’s steadily recovering economy, the authorities will closely monitor the Covid-19 pandemic situation in neighboring countries and cities, Tai stated.
The official also stressed that the government will consider introducing the third round of financial support in a timely manner to assist people in need under special circumstances, after taking into account the “overall situation” and “practice needs.”
However, Tai did not spell out what constitutes a special circumstance.
The government’s latest move is considered music to one’s ears for many in the city, as many businesses and employees have been concerned that local jobs and firms may be put on the line following the expiration of the last relief scheme, which was due at the end of December in 2020.
In April last year, the government announced the second round of economic support measures, in which a total of MOP10 billion was budgeted to offer financial aid as a lifeline for residents, employees and businesses that have been adversely impacted by the pandemic.
The subsidy program for businesses, as part of the MOP10 billion stimulus program, required companies receiving government grants not to lay off staff within six months without a justifiable reason.
It prompted several lawmakers, such as Ip Sio Kai and Ho Lon Sang, to urge the government in the Legislative Assembly (AL) plenary meeting to launch the third round of economic stimulus as soon as possible, especially targetting locals and SMEs, to help them weather the economic downturn.
The first round of stimulus, announced in February last year, took a “five-pronged approach” including tax relief, support targeting SMEs, subsidies, electronic consumption vouchers.  Honey Tsang

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