Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the Government will extend key support measures for businesses and workers in the month of May as it extends the circuit breaker measures for another month to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced today that the circuit breaker will be extended by another month to June 1 and existing measure will be tightened until May 4 to choke off the spread of Covid-19.
The extended support measures announced in the earlier Solidarity Budget will cost the Government $3.8 billion.
Here is a summary of the extended measures:
#1: Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) enhanced
Under the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme, the Government currently subsidises 75 per cent of the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages for 1.9 million local workers. This support, in the initial circuit breaker month of April, will be extended through the month of May.
Shareholders-directors with assessable income of $100,000 or less for Year of Assessment 2019 will now be eligible for Jobs Support Scheme. It is expected to benefit about 50,000 shareholder-directors.
The special JSS payout will reach employers by end-May 2020.
#2: Waiver of foreign worker levy extended
The Government will waive the monthly foreign worker levy due in April and May 2020. It will also provide employers with another foreign worker levy rebate of $750 per month in April and May 2020 for levies paid this year, for each Work Permit or S pass holder.
#3: Solidarity Payment
About 90 per cent of all Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020 received the $600 payment through direct bank transfer on 14 April 2020.
#4: Covid-19 Support Grant
From May 2020 onwards, those who are unemployed due to Covid-19 will receive $800 a month for three month under Covid-19 Support Grant.
#5: Temporary Relief Fund
The Government provided one-off cash assistance of $500 for those who need urgent help with basic living expenses.
DPM Heng said at the live press conference that this will be a test of our resilience as individuals and as a society.
“We cannot be certain when the crisis will end, but what is certain is we are here for you and we will support you.”
He cautioned that the coming weeks will be even more critical and urged everyone to keep up the spirit of unity, resilience, solidarity.
“As long as we stand with one another, we will emerge from this crisis stronger.”
Visit Budget 2020 website for more information on the support packages.
Photo credit: DPM Heng Swee Keat’s Facebook