THE Macau Government is wasting millions of dollars on frivolities while allowing expenditure on construction projects to soar, opposition groups have claimed. The money would be better spent on education or social welfare in the enclave, said legislators and civic organisations. Greater transparency in the Government's decision-making process and more accountability were called for by liberal legislator Mr Alexandre Ho Si-him, who was angry at the cavalier way he saw cash being spent on unnecessary projects. The Associacao de Macau Novo (New Macau Association) has also joined the fight, contacting delegates at this week's Macau Mass Construction seminar in Lisbon to highlight cases where the final cost of projects far exceeded original estimates. They included: The rebuilding of the Government Hospital, where the estimate cost increased from 200 million patacas to 800 million patacas; The Outer Harbour Maritime Terminal, scheduled for completion last year but still being built, with costs soaring from 30 million patacas to 800 million patacas; The new Taipa bridge, where estimates have risen from 372 million patacas to 640 million patacas; and The Macau International Airport, for which estimates have more than doubled from 3.5 billion patacas in 1989 to 7.3 billion patacas. The association said the Government was losing the confidence of Macau people by the overspending and by its financial backing of the building of seven monuments to mark Sino-Portuguese friendship in the run-up to 1999. Mr Ho, a civil servant who represents the Liberal Friendship Association in the Legislative Assembly, said people had good reason to criticise the Government, particularly over the monuments, the first of which is being constructed at a cost of 30 million patacas. ''I do not agree with these monuments. There are so many things which need to be done yet the Governor is doing something which is not necessary. It does not help,'' he said. ''There is so much secrecy and the public wants to know more about how the Government spends much more money than predicted on the big projects. Instead of 30 million patacas for the harbour terminal, they have already spent 800 million patacas. ''Every project goes up in price and the public are very concerned - they want to know where the money is coming from. ''So do we in the assembly. The Government wants more loans for the airport but it has not been passed yet - the assembly and the public do not believe the Macau Government has the financial basis to pay these debts.'' Because of the Easter holiday, no government officials were available to comment in Macau or Lisbon.