Fernando Chui Sai On. Picture credit to: Plataforma Macau.
The Chief Executive of Macao (on of the Special Administrative Regions (SAR) in China), Fernando Chui Sai On, has announced on the 15th of November 2018, that the Wealth Partaking Scheme (WPS) has been increased to 10000 patacas/year (1094 €/year) for Macao’s permanent residents, and to 6000 patacas/year (656 €/year) for non-residents. That’s an 11% increase from previous values, set since 2014, and a 100% increase since 2008, the year of the scheme’s inception. This announcement is made as part of Macao’s 2019 Policy Address, an event occurring on that same date at the Legislative Assembly.
Macao, home to 663400 residents plus around 180000 non-resident workers, uses the WPS to redistribute gaming revenue, in a region which has been called “Vegas of China”. However, social unrest is around the corner, when some people have voiced that the local government has not dealt properly with the recent devastation by hurricane Hato earlier this year. That and due to rising inequality, which has risen to warning levels (above 0,4 in the Gini Index), according to the Macau Economic Association, aligned however with China’s inequality levels, above 0,4 at least since 2012. This seems to suggest that the WPS is more a way to “temper public dissatisfaction and widespread demonstrations”, as assistant professor Bruce Kwong of government and public administration at the University of Macao has put it, then an effective tool to reduce inequality.
More information at:
Scott Douglas Jacobsen, “China: News from Macau’s “Wealth Partaking Scheme”, Basic Income News, October 1st 2017
Claire Bott, “China: Macao to spend over $1.5bn on public subsidies including Wealth Partaking Scheme”, Basic Income News, October 1st 2017
Yi Wei Wong, “Cash handouts for Wealth Partaking Scheme increased”, Macau News Agency, November 15th 2018
Nelson Moura, “Cash handout to go up to MOP10,000”, Macau News Agency, November 14th 2018
Cecília U, “Cash handouts likely to increase”, Macau News Agency, November 13th 2018
“Gap between rich and poor widens to warning levels”, Macau Daily Times, April 24th 2014
The Macao region of China will spend more than 1.2 billion euros this year on public subsidies, including their Wealth Partaking Scheme, which functions as a very low-level form of basic income.
As reported by the Xinhua News Agency, the official press agency of the People’s Republic of China, the Macao region will be spending over 12bn patacas (1.2 billion €), the local currency, on various forms of public subsidy.
This will include the Wealth Partaking Scheme, which offers 9000 patacas (900 €) per year to every permanent resident, and 5400 patacas (542 €) per year to every non-permanent resident.
Other Macao public subsidies include regular payments to elderly and disabled people.
More information at:
“Macao to spend 1.61 bln USD on public subsidies next year: chief executive“, XinhuaNET, 14th November 2017
José Pereira Coutinho. Credit to: Macau Daily Times.
In the Legislative Assembly (AL) elections for The New Hope (Nova Esperança), a political party from Macau, candidacy is headed by lawmaker José Pereira Coutinho. He is urging for the redistribution of the second share of the Wealth Parking Scheme, as reported on by BIEN in late July, by the end of 2017.
Under this second share, local permanent residents will receive an increment in their annual unconditional (partial) basic income of US $1,128, while non-permanent residents will get more US $672. This constitutes a development considering what the program has been until now.
Coutinho urged political candidates at a press conference to act and not simply talk for solving people’s issues. The New Hope is looking for the construction of 80,000 affordable housing units. He also noted houses are not being built properly.
Moreover, Coutinho also proposed an increase in the health care voucher scheme from 600 (Macanese) Pataca (US $75) to 1,000 Pataca (US $124), with a 3,000 Pataca (US $372.76) handout for senior citizens.
More information at:
Renato Marques, “Al Election: New Hope Urges Gov’t to Double Wealth Partaking Scheme This Year“, Futurism, 5th September 2017
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.