Additional $ 1.2 Billion Covid-19 Government Support Measures: What Will the Benefits Be for S’pore Businesses and Workers ?, Singapore News & Top Stories


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SINGAPORE – Finance Minister Lawrence Wong told parliament on Monday (July 5) that additional support measures for the recent period of heightened alert are expected to cost $ 1.2 billion.

Singapore tightened Covid-19 restrictions for about a month from May 16, with restaurant meals banned and working from home the default, as large clusters emerged and community cases increased.

The restrictions were relaxed from June 14 and some support measures will decrease from this month.

Here is how businesses and workers will benefit from the support measures, and how the sum will be financed.

1. What is the $ 1.2 billion used for?

50 percent wage subsidies under the Employment Support Program were awarded from May 16 to June 11 to companies in the food and beverage, sports, performing arts and entertainment industries. artistic education.

Support is 30 percent for eligible retail outlets, theater operators, museums, art galleries, historic sites and family entertainment centers.

Support under the scheme will be reduced to 10 percent from July 12 to 25.

A temporary Covid-19 recovery grant offers up to $ 700 to severely affected low-to-middle-income workers during this period until the end of July. They must not already receive support under the Covid-19 Recovery Grant launched in January.

A Driver Assistance Fund provides eligible taxi and private rental car drivers $ 750 per vehicle per month from May 16 to June 30. The amount will be reduced from July.

Hawkers in places managed by the National Environment Agency (AEN) or operators appointed by the AEN have also received a two-month rental waiver.

A month’s rent exemption was also granted to tenants of government-owned commercial properties.

READ THE FULL STORY: Additional Covid-19 support measures for businesses and workers will cost $ 1.2 billion: Lawrence Wong

2. How will SMEs be supported

The $ 1.2 billion will also be used to help small and medium-sized businesses access credit.

The Temporary Bridge Loan Program and Enhanced Business Financing – Commercial Loan Program will be extended for an additional six months from October 1 to March 31 of next year.

The parameters of both regimes remain unchanged, including the government’s 70 percent risk share.

The Temporary Bridge Loan Program aims to help local businesses manage their immediate cash flow needs, while the Enhanced Corporate Finance Program – Commercial Loan covers the business needs of businesses in areas such as inventory and finance financing. stocks.

READ THE FULL STORY: Temporary bridge loan, enhanced business finance programs for SMEs extended until March 2022

3. Where will the $ 1.2 billion come from?

About half of the $ 1.2 billion will come from an amount originally budgeted for the deep tunnel sewage system and North-South Corridor.

This is a one-time adjustment given that the Law on Government Loans for Major Infrastructure (Singa) – which allows borrowing for these projects – was passed after the start of the fiscal year.

The balance will be reallocated from the under-spending of development spending, mainly due to delays in projects related to Covid-19.

An additional supply bill will be tabled to effect the reallocation of $ 1.2 billion. Past reserves will not be exploited.

READ FULL STORY: S’pore budget deficit is $ 11 billion, like previous estimates, no further drawdowns on reserves

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