The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will be extended for companies in the worst-affected sectors in Singapore's economy, with the government committing an extra S$700 million to the salary subsidy programme.
This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (Feb. 16), in his Budget statement in Parliament for the year 2021.
The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) was first introduced last year, providing wage support to companies when Covid-19 first hit Singapore.
S$25 billion spent on JSS thus far
Over S$25 billion have been spent on the JSS thus far, and over 150,000 employers were supported by the scheme, since its introduction in February 2020.
The initial JSS cost S$1.1 billion, although it was quickly extended in March 2020 in order to help preserve jobs in the economic uncertainty.
It was extended again in May 2020, although certain industries that were on the road to recovery began to receive fewer payouts.
The current tranche of payments, which were announced in August 2020, will continue to cover wages up to March 2021 for most sectors.
Aviation and tourism industry to receive extended payouts
Heng said these payouts will be extended by six months for firms in the Tier 1 sectors, which include aviation, aerospace and tourism.
Firms in Tier 1 will receive 30 per cent support for wages paid from April to June 2021, and 10 per cent support for wages paid from July to September 2021.
For firms in Tier 2 sectors, which include retail, arts and culture, food services and built environment, the JSS payment will be extended for three months, covering 10 per cent of wages paid up to June 2021.
Segments like supermarkets, classified as Tier 3B, have been excluded from this group.
For firms in Tier 3A sectors, which Heng described as "generally recovering", JSS payouts will continue up to March 2021, as previously announced.
Nightlife establishments such as pubs and karaoke outlets, who are not yet permitted to re-open, may apply for grants from the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and Enterprise Singapore, in order to pivot to other permissible activities, or wind down their operations.
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