Wealth Partaking Scheme: Macau’s small UBI
The government of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR) in China has announced the “Wealth Partaking Scheme 2017” (WPS), under which local permanent residents are entitled to receive a small annual unconditional basic income of 9,000 patacas [US $1,128 (1)] and non-permanent residents 5,400 patacas [US $672]. With the Administrative Regulation No. 18/2017, the scheme came into effect on 6th June 2017, and its implementation officially started on 3rd July.
Since 2008, the government of the Macao SAR has given an annual state bonus to its all citizens. The WPS 2017 is very similar to the 2016 one. This year, there are 638,600 Macau permanent residents entitled to WPS, and 62,000 non-permanent residents. The total budget for the WPS 2017 is 6,080 million patacas [US $757 million].
Recipients must have been holders of valid or renewable Macau SAR Resident Identity Cards as of December 31, 2016 to be entitled to receive the cash premium, according to a statement from the Financial Services Bureau (DSF). Holders of a valid or renewable Macau SAR Resident Identity Card who are currently residing abroad will be granted the cash premium, provided they can prove that they are unable to renew their Macau SAR Resident Identity Card due to being either bedridden or completely or partly paralyzed. Those who submitted the relevant documentation and were granted the cash premium in the previous year may be exempted from document resubmission if the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS) concludes that no new evidence is required.
A direct bank transfer will be arranged for those who are receiving financial assistance or senior citizen subsidies from the IAS, according to the statement. The same will apply to retired civil servants receiving a retirement pension and other persons receiving such a pension for the family of the deceased. Most of the rest of the populace will be awarded the cash premium through a crossed check via mail. The crossed check can only be deposited into the payee’s account. In this way, the DSF notes that even if one receives a check addressed to another, it cannot be cashed.
A different procedure applies to beneficiaries under the age of 18. They will each receive a check made payable either to themselves or their parents, which may be deposited either into the beneficiary’s account or the account of one of their parents.
In addition to the WPS state bonus, the Macao SAR government has injected an annual capital into all qualified Provident Fund Individual Accounts since 2010. Provident fund individual accounts are provided to Macao SAR residents of the age of 22, and they are used to receive the “incentive basic fund” and “special allocation from budget surplus”. No formalities are required for the individual accounts of those who are already on the list of special allocation from budget surplus, which is 7,000 patacas [US $872] for 2017. Individuals who are entitled to the allocation of funds for the first time will also be allocated the incentive basic fund of 10,000 patacas [US $1,245].
(1) – At July 2017 exchange rates.
More information at:
Governo da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau [Special Administrative Macao Regional Government], “Plano de Comparticipação Pecuniária no Desenvolvimento Económico do Ano 2017 [2017 Wealth Partaking Scheme]”, 2017
Governo da Região Administrativa Especial de Macau [Special Administrative Macao Regional Government], “Fundo de Segurança Social [Social Security Fund]”, 2017
Paulo Coutinho, “Handout distribution starts next month”, Macau Daily Times, July 3rd, 2017
Furui Cheng, “China: Macao gives an annual state bonus to all citizens”, Basic Income News, August 31st, 2016
Karl Widerquist, “China: Macau residents to receive annual basic income”, Basic Income News, June 30th, 2015
Karl Widerquist, “Macau: Government Distributes Temporary Basic Income”, Basic Income News, August 23rd, 2014
Article reviewed by Kate McFarland.