COVID-19 is a rapidly escalating health emergency. This has led the Singapore government to implement tougher measures to significantly cut down physical interactions amongst everyone in the country. These measures announced on 3rd April, 5pm was then followed up with an additional budget on 6th April, 2pm – The Solidarity Budget.
This is the third budget to be announced in less than 2 months. This highlights the severity of the COVID-19 situation in Singapore as it hit a daily record high of 120, with a total of 1,309 confirmed cases as of 5th April 2020.
This new budget was announced by Finance Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat, to provide financial assistance to all Singaporeans. This comes as the country braces itself for a long “circuit breaker” of one month, where all non-essential business operations are to be closed from 7th April to 4th May.
Helping Families and Workers
The previous one-time cash payment of S$300, S$600, S$900, will now be amended. Every Singaporean will now be paid S$600 (S$300 will be deducted from the previously announced payout). This payment will be made by 14 April via bank transfer or by 30 April via cheque.
The Job Support Scheme will be further enhanced as the government will now pay 75% of the first S$4,600 of monthly salary in April 2020 for every local worker in employment. The wage support levels will continue to be differentiated by sector from May 2020 onwards.
The income relief scheme for self-employed persons has also been enhanced to increase the annual value threshold from S$13,000 to S$21,000 to support more self-employed persons. All Eligible SEPs will receive three quarterly cash payouts of S$3,000.
Insurance Premium Deferment
The government also announced in The Resilience Budget that all insurers should support their clients by allowing them to temporarily defer their insurance premium payment for up to six months.
Let us stand with each other and brave these unprecedented times together.
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