Singapore launches another multi-billion relief scheme to battle virus crisis

The government of Singapore decided on a meanwhile fourth fiscal package of S$33 billion ($23 billion) to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus, providing specific support to saving jobs.

The measures – which follow earlier stimulus packages in February, March and April – will help businesses and workers affected by border closures and movement restrictions, the city-state’s ’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat said on May 26.

“The central focus of this budget is jobs,” Heng noted, adding that “large parts of the last three budgets were directed at protecting the livelihoods of our workers. In this budget, we will do even more.”

Of the funds in the new package, a part will be used to extend job protection, including enhancements to the existing job support scheme that co-pays salaries to help firms retain workers, extended wage subsidy until August for some companies and wage support for severely hit sectors to 50 per cent or, in some cases, to 75 per cent.

In addition, it extends foreign-worker levy waivers and rebates for two months in sectors including construction, marine and offshore and the processing industry.

Support for Singaporeans in the lockdown phase

It also provides funds to help Singaporeans over the four-week lockdown extension announced in April to control the spread of the coronavirus by limiting people movements, including cash handout and rental waivers for commercial tenants in government buildings and agricultural and industrial tenants on government land.

The new package takes Singapore’s total support to battle the virus crisis to S$92.9 billion ($64.8 billion), or 19.2 per cent of gross domestic product.

It will be accompanied by a bill mandating that landlords contribute to the relieve measures by granting a rental waiver to their small and medium-sized enterprise tenants who have suffered a significant revenue drop in the past few months.

Singapore’s economy has been deeply impacted by the global shocks caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Heng said. The country expects an economic contraction of up to seven per cent this year, while resident unemployment rate rose to 3.3 per cent in March, the highest in over a decade.

The government of Singapore decided on a meanwhile fourth fiscal package of S$33 billion ($23 billion) to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus, providing specific support to saving jobs. The measures – which follow earlier stimulus packages in February, March and April – will help businesses and workers affected by border closures and movement restrictions, the city-state’s ’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat said on May 26. “The central focus of this budget is jobs,” Heng noted, adding that “large parts of the last three budgets were directed at protecting the livelihoods of our workers. In this budget, we...

The government of Singapore decided on a meanwhile fourth fiscal package of S$33 billion ($23 billion) to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus, providing specific support to saving jobs.

The measures – which follow earlier stimulus packages in February, March and April – will help businesses and workers affected by border closures and movement restrictions, the city-state’s ’s finance minister Heng Swee Keat said on May 26.

“The central focus of this budget is jobs,” Heng noted, adding that “large parts of the last three budgets were directed at protecting the livelihoods of our workers. In this budget, we will do even more.”

Of the funds in the new package, a part will be used to extend job protection, including enhancements to the existing job support scheme that co-pays salaries to help firms retain workers, extended wage subsidy until August for some companies and wage support for severely hit sectors to 50 per cent or, in some cases, to 75 per cent.

In addition, it extends foreign-worker levy waivers and rebates for two months in sectors including construction, marine and offshore and the processing industry.

Support for Singaporeans in the lockdown phase

It also provides funds to help Singaporeans over the four-week lockdown extension announced in April to control the spread of the coronavirus by limiting people movements, including cash handout and rental waivers for commercial tenants in government buildings and agricultural and industrial tenants on government land.

The new package takes Singapore’s total support to battle the virus crisis to S$92.9 billion ($64.8 billion), or 19.2 per cent of gross domestic product.

It will be accompanied by a bill mandating that landlords contribute to the relieve measures by granting a rental waiver to their small and medium-sized enterprise tenants who have suffered a significant revenue drop in the past few months.

Singapore’s economy has been deeply impacted by the global shocks caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Heng said. The country expects an economic contraction of up to seven per cent this year, while resident unemployment rate rose to 3.3 per cent in March, the highest in over a decade.

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