The Singapore government will be spending a total of S$6.4 billion to cushion the economic impact of Covid-19 on the country, stabilise the economy, and help Singaporeans with the cost of living.
This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in the Budget 2020 statement on Feb. 18, 2020.
S$800 million to frontline operations
S$800 million will be used to support the frontline agencies who have been fighting the virus.
Bulk of the sum will go to the Ministry of Health, on top of the resources already committed to public health annually.
S$1.6 billion for households
To help Singaporean households to defray the rising costs of living during this period of uncertainty, a Care and Support package amounting to S$1.6 billion will be provided.
Here's what Singaporeans will receive:
- All Singaporeans aged 21 and above will receive a one-time cash payout of S$100, S$200, or S$300, depending on their income.
- The U-Save rebate, which helps to offset utilities cost under the annual GST voucher, will be doubled this year. This will come in the form of a one-off GST voucher for eligible households.
- The Service and Conservancy Charges rebate will be extended for another year. Eligible households will receive rebates of between one-and-a-half and three-and-a-half months.
- Lower-income Singaporeans will receive more help in the form of Workfare Special Payment and Grocery Vouchers.
- Workfare Special Payment: Singaporeans on workfare will receive 20 per cent more for work done in 2019, with a minimum payment of S$100.
- Grocery Vouchers: Needy Singaporeans will receive grocery vouchers worth S$100 in 2020 and 2021. The vouchers can be used at major supermarkets.
S$4 billion to support affected industries
The S$4 billion Support and Stabilisation package addresses the foremost concern of helping workers retain their jobs in this period of economic uncertainty.
This will come in the form of the Jobs Support Scheme, which offsets eight per cent of the wages up to a monthly cap of S$3,600 for three months, as well as the Wage Credit Scheme, which supports wage increases for Singaporeans.
Stabilisation and Support package will also include support for industries hit by virus, including corporate tax rebates and rent waivers.
Five sectors that have been affected directly — tourism, aviation, food services, retail, and point-to-point transport services — will receive additional support.
Top image from Ministry of Heath's Facebook page