Macau | Wages adjustment and investment in social funds and education – Legislators

Legislators on Wednesday raised questions at the Legislative Assembly (AL) about the revision of wages and the need to foster technical training in a sustainable manner.

Macau (MNA) – A round of interpellations by legislators at the Legislative Assembly (AL) on Wednesday raised questions about the revision of wages and preparations for the minimum wage law, as well as the need to foster technical training and the nurturing of talent in a sustainable manner.

Legislator Leong Sun Iok pointed out that recent adjustments to wages have been lower than the inflation rate, adding that in spite of overall economic improvements in the life of residents, “rents and house prices are still expensive.”

Mr. Leong also signalled that casino operators have frozen salaries during the phase of economic downturn in the sector, but have not followed suit after gross gaming revenues got back on track.

He said that the slight adjustment awarded by casino operators this year was not “satisfactory,” especially in light of “abundant gaming receipts,” which he highlighted posted 19.1 per cent growth in the first ten months of the year.

He suggested the Macau SAR Government encourage gaming operators to increase workers’ salaries.

Meanwhile, legislator Ng Kuok Cheong reminded the MSAR Government that he had already presented concrete proposals for the “transitory regime” of the universal minimum wage law prior to the law – currently submitted for public consultation – is proposed to vote upon.

The legislator claimed that the government should start planning to move the funds of the complementary subsidy to work revenues and createmechanisms to support small enterprises to abide by the minimum wage.

Questioning the allocation of public money and pointing out the rapid ageing of Macau’s population, Au Kam San suggested the government transfer the major part of the funds ensuing from gross gaming revenues, currently attributed to the Macao Foundation, to the Social Security Fund (FSS).

“While the city enjoys a moment of economic prosperity, the government should invest in the Social Security Fund and the development of talent forthe sustainable development of society,” Mr. Au said during the plenary session.

Drawing upon a recent study conducted by the Education Services Bureau (DESJ), Lei Chan U indicated that there is a need to improve the level of technic-professional education in the city.

The legislator said the DSEJ report raises several issues such as the “lack of attractiveness” of technic-professional schools in Macau, the “weak co-operation” between schools and professional sectors, as well as the need to improve the quality of teachers, justifying somewhat the decrease in the number of students enrolling in technic-professional education in the city.

Technic-professional education is “an indispensable” part of the strategy to diversify both local education and the economy while enabling training to develop talent, Mr. Lei highlighted.