TUI rejects appeal filed by Portuguese civil servants seeking residency subsidy

The Court of Final Appeal (TUI) has rejected the last attempt of a group of 27 Portuguese civil servants in seeking the right to a residency subsidy from the Macau government. The group worked and retired in Macau prior to its handover to China in 1999, and chose to transfer its pension procedures to the Portuguese system.
The case dates back to 2011, when the civil servants requested the payment of a residency subsidy from the Financial Services Bureau, which was rejected.
At the time, the Financial Services Bureau argued that the 27 civil servants had already been granted a subsidy to transport their goods to Portugal, as well as plane tickets. In addition, they also argued that the group of civil servants had moved their effective residence location to Portugal.
After appealing the decision without any success, the 27 civil servants took the case to court.
However, last March, the Court of Second Instance rejected their appeal. TSI now follows the previous decision: “[The individuals filing the appeal] retired while Macau was under the Portuguese administration. They don’t even have the right for the pension that is contemplated in the Basic Law, let alone residency subsidy,” it reads.
In a previous decision, judges had also refuted an argument used by some of the civil servants claiming they had permanent Macau-resident ID cards and therefore reside in Macau. The court ruled that – although they are legally entitled to live in Macau – what matters is their effective residency location, which is settled in Portugal.
Francisco Manhão, president of the Macau pensioners’ association APOMAC told Radio Macau he is disappointed with TSI’s ruling: “I am very disappointed, particularly because the argument used by TSI is not a convincing one (…) the administration has not treated every case in the same manner,” he said.

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