Closely following his Resilience Budget, Singapore's Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced an unprecedented third 'Solidarity' budget.
The announcement comes a day before Singapore rolls out its 'circuit breaker' measures, where all schools and non-essential services are ordered to close from 7 April to 4 May 2020 to curb local transmission of COVID-19.
Here are some highlights of the Solidarity Budget:
Enhancement to the Jobs Support Scheme
For the month of April, employers across all sectors will receive a subsidy of 75% on the gross monthly wages of each local employee (applicable to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents only). This is subject to a monthly wage cap of S$4,600 per employee and is only applicable for the month of April, after which it reverts to the normal levels for the remaining qualifying months.
The government will bring forward the first payment under the Jobs Support Scheme, from May to April. Payments will be made as early as the week starting 13 April) for firms registered with Giro or PayNow. For firms not registered on either system, payment will be made by cheque the following week.
Jobs Support Scheme payments are made automatically, and there is no need for businesses to register or apply. Click here for more information.
Increased Risk Sharing by the Government under the Enterprise Financing Scheme
To ensure local small and medium enterprises can continue to access affordable credit, the government will increase its risk share apportionment to 90% of the loan amount, under the various subcategories of the Enterprise Financing Scheme. This will apply to loans taken out from 8 April 2020 through till 31 March 2021.
Click here for more information.
New legislation on property tax rebates
The government will be passing new laws to ensure that landlords pass on property tax rebates to tenants.
Enhanced rental waivers for government-owned properties
Tenants in commercial, office and agriculture spaces owned by the government will enjoy a one month rental waiver (up from 0.5 months in the Resilience Budget).
If you have any questions on the Solidarity Budget, Resilience Budget or any other issues, please get in touch. Stay safe!
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.