Additional $5.1b of support to help firms, workers and households
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced a third round of support measures in Parliament yesterday, setting aside $5.1 billion in the Solidarity Budget to save jobs, support businesses and families. Earlier, $48.4 billion had been set aside in the March 26 Resilience Budget and $6.4 billion in the Feb 18 Unity Budget. These are some of the main points of the Solidarity Budget
- All Singaporeans aged 21 and above this year will get a one-off Solidarity Payment of $600.
- Most will receive it by April 14 in their bank accounts, the rest will get it by cheque in stages from April 30.
- $300 of this $600 Solidarity Payment comes from part of the earlier announced Care and Support package.
- Parents with at least one Singaporean child aged 20 and below this year each get an additional $300 in cash.
- Eligible Singaporeans aged 21 and above get $300 in grocery vouchers for this year. They will get another $100 next year.
- All Singaporeans aged 50 and above this year will get a PAssion Card top-up of $100.
RELIEF FROM GOVERNMENT FEES, LOANS
- No hike on fees and charges for all Government services for a year, from April 1.
- University and polytechnic government loan repayment and interest charges have been suspended for a year from June 1.
- Late payment charges on Housing Board mortgage arrears suspended for three months.
HELP FOR COMMUNITY, NEEDY
- $145 million set aside to help the needy through social service offices and community centres, including more flexibility for ComCare applications.
HELP ON WAGES
- The Government will subsidise 75 per cent of the first $4,600 of monthly wage for all local workers for this month. Normal payout levels will revert after this month.
- Payouts were supposed to be next month, July and October. The first payout has been brought forward to this month.
HELP FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED
- The Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme was introduced during the Resilience Budget, to help the self-employed tide over the pandemic through three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000, or a total of $9,000.
- Following feedback, it was expanded yesterday to include the self-employed who also earn a small income from employment, capped at $2,300 a month.
- The scheme will now also cover those living in properties with an annual value of up to $21,000, up from $13,000 before.
- About 100,000 people - up from 88,000 - will now get the payouts next month, in July and in October.
- Government to pump $48 million into a training support scheme for the self-employed, upping training allowances and allowing the use of SkillsFuture credits for this.
HELP FOR THE LOWER-INCOME
- This group get a special Workfare payment of $3,000 each, in cash.
- Union members facing financial distress can claim a one-off payment of up to $300 under the $25 million NTUC Care Fund (Covid-19).
- Low-and middle-income workers who lose their jobs due to Covid-19 get cash grants of $800 a month for three months from May to September.
- About 10,000 new jobs will be created over the next year. There will also be private sector openings.
FOREIGN WORKER RELIEF
- The foreign worker levy to be waived for this month.
- A levy rebate of $750 to be granted to companies this month for each work permit or S Pass holder.
PROPERTY TAX RELIEF
- Restaurants, shops, hotels, serviced apartments and tourist attractions, among others, will pay no property tax for this year.
- Businesses in other non-residential properties, such as offices or industrial properties, will get a 30 per cent property tax rebate for this year.
INCOME TAX RELIEF
- lncome tax payments deferred for three months for companies and self-employed people, with no application required.
- The rental waiver for industrial, office and agricultural tenants of government agencies will be raised to a month, up from the half-month rental waiver announced previously.
- Stallholders in hawker centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators will enjoy three months of rental waiver - up from one month previously - while commercial tenants will continue to get two months of rental waivers.
SUPPORT FOR SPECIFIC SECTORS
- The Government will continue to offset 75 per cent of the first $4,600 in monthly wages in the tourism and aviation sectors, and 50 per cent in the food services sector, after the share reverts to 25 per cent for local workers in other sectors after this month.
- The aviation sector gets $350 million in help, with measures such as rebates on landing and parking fees, and rental relief for airlines and the cargo industry.
- The tourism sector will get $90 million to ensure it rebounds from the crisis when the time is right.
- The arts and culture sector will get $55 million to support jobs and training, including for digitalisation and retaining jobs.
- The point-to-point support package, which helps relieve the shortfall in earnings for taxi and private-hire car drivers, will get $95 million.
- Eligible taxi hirers and private-hire car drivers will continue to get a special relief payment of $300 a vehicle a month till the end of September.
- Private bus owners will get a one-year road tax rebate and a six-month waiver of parking charges at government-managed parking facilities. This will cost $23 million.