Singapore – solidarity & resilience budgets.

In addition to the S$6.4 billion package announced in mid-February to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the Singapore government has introduced two subsequent economic stimulus packages.

On 26 March, the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat, presented the Resilience Budget in Parliament, committing a staggering S$48 billion package to support the economy.

And on 6 April, he presented a supplementary Solidarity Budget, committing another S$5 billion.

Below summarised the main stimulus of the two proposals:

  • Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) – Government will pay 25% of monthly wages for every local worker in employment, capped at $4,600, for nine months. Higher support for sectors more affected by COVID-19, of up to 75%. In view of Circuit Breaker, all firms to get 75% wage subsidy for local employees for the month of April.

  • Ease Labour Costs for Employers – Foreign worker monthly levy will be waived for the month of April. The government will also provide employers with a foreign worker levy rebate of S$750 for each work permit or S pass holder, based on previous levies paid in 2020.

  • Solidarity Payment – S$600 (Comprising new S$300 pay-out, and S$300 as announced in the February Care and Support package) will be paid to all Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020. These payments will be credited directly into bank accounts by 14 April 2020. Otherwise, cheques will be mailed out starting from 30 April 2020.

  • COVID-19 Support Grant – Cash grant of S$800 per month for three months, for low and middle income Singaporeans who lose their jobs due to COVID-19.

  • Temporary Relief Fund – Provides immediate financial assistance for families whose livelihoods were affected by COVID-19.

  • Self-Employed Persons (SEPs) Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) – Eligible SEPs will receive three quarterly cash pay-outs of S$3,000 each in May, July, and October 2020.

  • SEP Training Support Scheme – Extended till end of 2020. From 1 May 2020, training allowance enhanced to S$10/hour.

  • Enhanced Workfare Special Payment – Benefits about 50,000 low income SEPs.

  • Enhanced Property Tax Rebate for 2020 – Increased Property Tax Rebate for qualified commercial properties, such as hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops and restaurants, from 15% or 30%, to 100%. Increased Property Tax Rebate for integrated resorts from 10% to 60%. All other non-residential properties will receive a new 30% Property Tax Rebate. COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Bill will be passed in Parliament to ensure pass-through of Property Tax Rebate from property owners to tenants.
  • Enhanced Rental Waivers – Increased rental waiver from one month to three months, for stallholders in hawker centres managed by NEA or NEA-appointed operators. All other non-residential tenants of government agencies receive at least one months of rental waiver.

  • Cash Flow Support – Expanded Temporary Bridging Loan Programme to all sectors. Increased maximum loan quantum to S$1 million under the Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working capital Loan. Increased maximum loan quantum to S$10 million and government risk-share to 90%, under Enterprise Financing Scheme – Trade Loan.

  • Support for Capability Development – Raised maximum support levels for Productivity Solutions Grant and Enterprise Development Grant to 80% and 90% respectively, till end of 2020, enhanced SMEs Go Digital, extended the enhanced training support.

  • Automatic Deferment of Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Payments for Companies and SEPs – All companies with CIT payments due in the months of April, May and June 2020 will be granted an automatic three-month deferment of these payments. The CIT payments that are deferred from April, May and June 2020 will be collected in July, August and September 2020 respectively.

  • Support for Employees – Employees can apply to defer tax payment by three months.

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