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RESILIENCE BUDGET

Singapore Supplementary Resilience Budget 2020 Overview

 

On 26 March 2020, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat, presented Singapore’s 2020 supplementary Resilience Budget that sets out the Government’s plans for further support for Singapore and Singaporeans in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  $6.4 billion has been committed under the Budget 2020 announced on 18 February 2020 for the Stabilisation and Support Package and the Care and Support Package.  The Government will introduce measures worth another $48 billion under the abovementioned Resilience Budget.  The Resilience Budget focuses on three key areas:

  • Helping enterprises overcome immediate challenges;
  • Saving jobs, supporting workers, and protecting livelihoods; and
  • Strengthening economic and social resilience, so that we can emerge intact and stronger

Some of the new and enhanced measures include:

Sustaining businesses

  • Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme – this scheme was launched at Budget 2020 to help businesses retain their local employees during this period of uncertainty.  Eligible employers will now receive 25% cash grant (up from 8%) on the gross monthly wages of each local employee (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) to cover nine months of wages (up from three months), subject to a monthly wage cap of $4,600 (up from $3,600) per employee.  For businesses in certain specific sector, the percentage of cash grant is higher, subject to the same wage cap:
    • Aviation sector – 75% wage offset and $350 million Enhanced Aviation Support Package to provide cost relief for airlines, ground handlers and the cargo industry.
    • Tourism sector – 75% wage offset and $90 million support package to help the sector rebound strongly when the time is right. This sector will include hotels, travel agencies, tourist attractions, cruise terminals and operators, and Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions venue operators
    • Food services – 50% wage offset for food & beverages firms
  • All companies with corporate income tax payments due in the months of April, May and June 2020 will be granted an automatic three-month deferment of these payments. These deferred payments will be collected in July, August and September 2020 respectively.
  • Enterprise Financing Scheme’s Working Capital loan component raised to $1,000,000 (at Budget 2020, the maximum loan quantum was increased from $300,000 to $600,000) for one year (from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021) with Government’s share of risk on the loans increased to 80%.
  • Temporary bridging loan programme – this programme was launched at Budget 2020 to provide additional cash flow support for tourism sector enterprises.  The programme will be expanded to all sectors from 1 April 2020 and the maximum loan quantum will be increased to $5,000,000 (up from $1,000,000).
  • Enhanced property tax rebate for 2020 – increased property tax rebate for qualifying commercial properties, such as hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops and restaurants, to 100% (up from 15%/30%).  All non-residential properties will receive a new 30% property tax rebate.  The Government strongly urges private property owners to pass on the savings to the tenants.
  • Enhanced rental waivers – increased rental waiver to 3 months (up from 1 month) for stallholders in hawker centres.  All other non-residential tenants of Government agencies receive 0.5 months of rental waiver.

Support for the Self-Employed

  • Eligible Singaporean self-employed persons will receive $1,000 a month, for 9 months
  • Special relief fund payments of $300 per vehicle per month for taxi hirers and private hire car drivers, till end-September 2020.
  • 1-year road tax rebate and 6-month waiver of parking charges at government-managed parking facilities for private bus owners.
  • GIRO deductions of income tax payments due in May, June and July 2020 will be deferred automatically for three months to August, September and October 2020 respectively.  No application is required.
  • For one-time income tax payments due in May, June and July 2020, there will be a 3-month deferment to August, September and October 2020 respectively. No application is required.

Supporting workers, protecting livelihoods

  • COVID-19 Support Grant – Cash grant of $800 per month for 3 months, for low and middle income Singaporeans who lost their jobs due to COVID-19
  • Temporary Relief Fund – provide immediate financial assistance for families whose livelihoods were affected by COVID-19
  • NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19) – one-off relief of up to $300 per union member
  • SGUnited Jobs – about 10,000 jobs available over the next year
  • SGUnited Traineeships – supports employers in providing traineeships to fresh graduates
  • Advance use of SkillsFuture Credit top-ups for selected courses, from 1 April 2020
  • Employees may opt to defer income tax payments due in May, June and July 2020 to help ease cash flow.  Once opted, GIRO deduction will resume in August, September and October 2020 and the end-date of instalment plan will be extended by 3 months; one-time lump sum payment will be deferred by three months.

Supporting the family

  • Enhanced Care and Support Package
    • For all Singaporean aged 21 and over: One-off cash payout of $300, $600 and $900, (up from $100 to $300) and parents, with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and below in 2020, will each receive an additional $300.
    • Enhanced Workfare Special Payment – payment of $3,000 in cash in 2020 for Singaporeans who received Workfare payments for work done in 2019.
    • Singaporeans living in 1-room and 2-room HDB flats will receive $300 Grocery Vouchers in 2020 and $100 in 2021
    • Double the grant to Self-Help Groups to $20 million over 2020 and 2021
    • Increase grant to Community Development Councils to $75 million in 2020
  • Suspend student loan repayments and interest charges from 1 June 2020 to 31 May 2021 for graduates of Autonomous Universities and polytechnics
  • Suspend late payment charges on HDB mortgage arrears for 3 months