Singapore announced a S$48 billion supplementary budget to help the country cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is expected to go on for at least a year.
One month after passing its largest annual budget in history, Singapore’s second relief package would include monthly/one-time stipends for every Singaporean as well as money for job creation and food assistance, and S$350 million for the aviation sector.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said today the “Resilience Budget” would help everyone from the self-employed to the unemployed, as well as the badly affected aviation, tourism, and arts sectors. There was no money allocated to aid the city’s large migrant workforce.
It is nearly seven times larger than the S$6.4 billion in COVID-19 relief funds included in last month’s S$106 billion budget, which was already S$26 billion higher than the previous year.
Once approved, it will draw from the treasury’s reserves and create a S$39.2 billion deficit.
More highlights from the proposed second package below:
- 10,000 new jobs to be created over the next year starting with public sector
- S$300-S$900 cash to help adult Singaporeans defray household needs. Additional S$300 for those with children.
- S$3,000 cash for low-income workers through a support grant
- S$300 worth of grocery vouchers for low-income Singaporeans.
- S$800 cash assistance per month for three months for low- and middle-income workers who lose jobs
- S$1.2 billion set aside for eligible self-employed people to receive S$1,000 in cash each month for nine months.
- S$15.1 billion set aside to co-fund wages for companies badly hit
- Aviation sector to receive S$350 million in cost relief, tourism sector to receive S$90 million for business recovery, while the arts and culture sector to receive S$55 million in financial support package.
- All government fees and charges to be frozen for a year
- Late public housing mortgage fees to be suspended for three months
- Income tax payments to be deferred for companies and the self-employed for three months
- Property tax for commercial properties such as hotels and restaurants waived this year
- Rental waivers for small businesses like hawker stalls
- Private bus owners to receive one-year road tax rebate and six months waiver of parking charges
At the start of his ministerial statement, Heng noted that the pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and that Singapore’s economy faced its worst contraction “since independence” in the first quarter.
Singapore’s economy contracted by 2.2% in the first quarter, reports said today, with the construction and services sector among those hit.