Macau Government Hands Out Bonus Checks for Residents Because of Budget Surplus

Macau Government Hands Out Bonus Checks for Residents Because of Budget Surplus

Macau is sharing its economic surplus directly with its citizens. The Special Administrative Region (SAR) of Macau in China has been providing annual bonuses to its inhabitants since 2008. Referred to as a wealth-partaking scheme (WPS), the bonus is primarily funded by money received from the local lottery. Macau is one of the most popular gambling destinations in the world. It is appealing to international travelers who love to gamble. The surplus fund is also causing many to have a more positive outlook on casino games. The reason for this is the lottery funds are directly benefitting citizens.

Permanent Macau residents received 5,000 patacas, which is around $627, as a bonus in 2008. In the last few years, the amount has increased to 9,000 patacas, which is about $1,128. Nonpermanent residents also benefit from the bonus. However, the amount the government gives them is 60 percent of what permanent residents receive.

How Does Macau Afford Surplus Distribution?

The money the government allocates to give its citizens from the budget surplus is an additional fund. The additional funds are put into qualified accounts once the authorized amount of money has been put into the incentive basic fund. In 2010, the extra fund was 6,000 patacas or $752; in 2016, it was 7,000 patacas or $877.

The Incentive Basic Fund

macanese patacaSince 2010, the autonomous territory has also put more capital revenue into all its qualified Provident Fund Individual Accounts. Residents of Macau who are 18 or younger receive funds from the Provident Fund Individual Accounts. Previously, younger citizens received the “incentive basic  fund” and “special allocation from a budget surplus.”

The incentive basic fund is a one-time payment of 10,000 patacas or $1,253. This payment goes to provident fund individual account owners. The government pays these account owners the “first calendar year after they have reached the age of 22.” However, to receive the money, they must have been permanent residents of Macau SAR during the previous calendar year. Account holders must live in the region for at least 183 days out of the year to receive the payment.

There are some exceptions, however. The government makes allowances for people who must be out of the country for an extended period for various reasons. One exception is a Macau citizen who is studying abroad at an institution of higher learning. He or she will still receive the incentive basic fund.

The rule also applies to individuals who have been hospitalized. In addition, it applies to those who are 65 or older and reside primarily in mainland China. Adults 65 or older who reside primarily in mainland China and receive long-term medical care get the incentive basic fund as well. Adults who had to work outside of Macau to provide for their families are also able to receive the funds. In addition, Macau provides the incentive basic fund to individuals who are Macau citizens but work outside the country. An example of this would be someone who works for Macau’s social security administration. Another example would be someone who works for a company registered with the Macau Social Security Fund. These stipulations make it easier for many Macau citizens with a variety of living situations to receive their surplus funds.

How the Surplus Affect Citizens

The average income for people in Macau is 15,000 patacas (US$1,880) per month. Macau’s minimum wage is around 6,000 patacas a month. Most citizens believe the incentive basic fund is one of the most important contributions made by the government. They also believe the budget surplus allocation policy is also important.

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