Taxi drivers to receive one-off fuel and energy subsidy

Local taxi drivers who meet certain requirements will receive a one-off fuel and energy subsidy reaching up to MOP12,000 (US$1,484) starting from September, as part of a string of policies to mitigate the pandemic impact on the local economy.

The handout is sentenced to benefit 4,000 taxi drivers and amounts to a total of MOP51 million in subsidies.

According to a Transport Bureau announcement, the subsidy will be handed to taxi drivers who hold or have held a valid taxi driver identification card issued by DSAT between January 1 and July 31 of this year; have accumulated 35 hours of activity during the respective period; and are not eligible for other pandemic relief employment support policies.

If the beneficiaries also simultaneously meet the requirements to receive one of the types of cash support under another support policy for self-employed professionals, only the amount in excess of the difference between the fuel and energy subsidy, some MOP2,000, will be awarded.

The DSAT will launch the online consultation system starting on August 22 so that taxi drivers can consult the beneficiary data and the respective information, with the subsidy to start being provided in September.

Since the most recent community outbreak in the Macau SAR local authorities have launched some provisional measures to support drivers and taxi license holders.

These included the return of the collection of road tax on rental cars for the year 2022, exemption/refund of the taxi driver identification card issuance fee and the fee for periodic inspections of taxis, and exemption until the end of the current year from paying the fees for the West Auto-Silo at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.

Last month authorities pledged a new round of support measures in a total value of MOP10 billion, including one-off subsidies for employees, self-employed and businesses; an exemption for tourism tax; a fuel subsidy for the taxi sector; and others.

These measures are on top of the new round of consumption e-vouchers, a MOP300-million scheme to subsidise companies to hire local staff, and other support measures put forward by the administration earlier this year.