With the pandemic worsening worldwide, the Government of Macau is saying that in the short term the objective is to guarantee the population’s jobs.
From the Publisher’s Desk | Macau Business April 2020
Correct concern, no doubt. But unfortunately we have not yet seen real measures to prevent the predictable breakdown of small and medium-sized companies and the inexorable increase in unemployment.
What has been seen so far are general, confused ideas and the recycling of measures that have existed for almost a decade and a half, such as the interest-free loans of 600 thousand patacas for eight years.
In my view, nothing is more important than guaranteeing employment, the resident population and blue cards – the latter, always the most fragile victims.
If there is a time when financial reserves should be used to keep the economy running, guaranteed jobs and continued domestic investment through domestic demand, this is one of them. And we are not talking about 3,000 patacas shopping vouchers, which is like throwing a bucket of water to try to put out a fire in the Amazon. The government cannot be meager in the measures and of the approximately MOP600 billion kept in the coffers it can and should plan an immediate injection of at least 100 billion to be able to advance with major decisions. And one of the main, if not the main, decision to be taken is to guarantee part of the salaries of SMEs workers, thus preventing companies from having to close their doors or getting into debt to a point of no return.
The measure is far from original and in that respect, the government is safeguarded and can still avoid having ideas out of the box.
The Secretary for the Economy said recently: “Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent about 40 percent of jobs. So if the territory is able to stabilize SMEs it will be able to stabilize the situation of the job market.
To this end, it is necessary to guarantee support for a percentage of workers’ wages, while new unemployment benefits must be launched.”
Fortunately, Macau is in an enviable situation, almost unique in the world. Spending today to support tomorrow is the best way we have to avoid way more the day after because we didn’t act in time. And the government should not worry: there will still be several hundred billions left in the coffers for when the storm passes; if the economy remains controlled thanks to real and effective incentive measures, that is.
Macau Business News App the new must
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Over the past few months, this has been reconfirmed daily through our group’s new portal (www.macaubusiness.com) and especially after the recent launch of our ‘Macau Business News’ application, which has triggered greater access via mobile phones.
The news about coronavirus and the news concerning Macau, including gaming and property, are a must, followed by news about government and financial and economic policies.
The portal, launched because the previous one was no longer able to accommodate demand, had to be upgraded to expand the number of simultaneous accesses; thousands of them.
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