On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the Resilience Budget which commits an additional $48.4 billion to deal with the worsening coronavirus pandemic. This is on top of the $6.4 billion set aside in the 2020 Singapore Budget announced a month ago. Here are five takeaways:
1. Where is the $48.4 billion coming from?
Thankfully, Singapore has been accumulating its reserves for such a crisis. $17 billion will be drawn from the reserves, while the shortfall will be covered by increasing the Budget deficit for the 2020 financial year to $39.2 billion.
2. Support for Affected Industries
More than $1 billion will be set aside for sectors such as aviation and tourism that have been devastated by the pandemic.
3. Support for Workers
To save jobs, the Government will extend the Jobs Support Scheme and co-fund 25% of local worker’s wages until 2020. The SGUnited initiative will create 10,000 new jobs over the next one year in the public sector and industries such as infocomm technology, cleaning and logistics.
A new Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) will provide eligible self-employed persons with $1000 cash every month for nine months. Lower-wage workers under the Workfare Income Supplement Scheme will receive a one-off cash payment of $3000.
Lower and middle-income workers who lost their jobs will be provided with $800 every month for three months under the COVID-19 Support Grant.
4. More Free Money
Parents with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and below will each get an additional $300.
5. More Pay Cuts for Ministers