As part of the Resilience Budget, the follow up to last month's Unity Budget, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the government will provide direct cash assistance to eligible self-employed persons.
After discussions with the Minister of Manpower, Josephine Teo, and NTUC Secretary-General, Ng Chee Meng, on developing a Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) for this period, Heng decided to set aside S$1.2 billion for the SIRS scheme.
Under the scheme, self-employed persons will receive S$1,000 a month for nine months.
According to DPM Heng, the government expects to reach out to most of the self-employed persons who depend on self-employment for their livelihood and have less means and family support.
MOM will provide more details on the scheme.
In addition to the S$1,000 a month, the government will also extend a previously introduced SEP Training Support Scheme.
The scheme will now be extended to December, 2020, and the hourly training allowance will go up from S$7.50 to S$10 with effect from May 1, 2020.
Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme bears similarities to famous US suggestion
The scheme, in terms of quantum and frequency of disbursement, bears some similarities to the famous proposal by former US presidential candidate Andrew Yang.
Yang proposed to give every American adult US$1,000 a month in universal basic income, as a way to offset job loss from automation.
The income relief scheme proposed by Heng on the other hand is a temporary scheme to offset job loss from Covid-19.
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