Singapore’s Resilience Budget: Support In The Time Of COVID-19
As Singapore battles the healthcare, social and economic impacts of COVID-19, there will be many who are faced with financial problems.
While the government has always sought to promote self-reliance, in this time of crisis it has been decided that public funds will be used to help those who are struggling. This help comes in the form of the Resilience Budget.
What is the Resilience Budget?
In the wake of measures to stem the transmission of COVID-19, jobs are being lost, incomes are crumbling and business are struggling to stay afloat.
The $48-billion Resilience Budget, also known as the Supplementary Budget 2020, has been drawn up to address the COVID-19 situation. Together with amounts budgeted earlier in order to offer support in the COVID-19 crisis, this brings the total expenditure to $55 billion. Unveiled on 26 March 2020, the Resilience Budget is meant to cushion society and the economy from the impact of COVID-19.
What does the Resilience Budget offer and how does it affect me?
We’ve broken down the Resilience Budget’s key schemes according to who can benefit directly from them. To make sure you’re not missing out on relief that you qualify for, read carefully the sections that apply to your profile.
- Care and Support Package – All Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2020 should already have received cash payouts of $300, $600 or $900 (depending on income) deposited directly into their bank accounts. Those who own more than one property will receive $300. Parents with at least one child aged 20 and below will receive an additional $300. Those aged 50 and above who were supposed to receive a $100 PAssion Card top-up will receive it in cash instead.
- Government fees and charges will not be increased for one year until 31 March 2021.
- Late payment charges for arrears on HDB loans will be suspended for 3 months
Union members & middle- to low-income persons:
- Enhanced Grocery Vouchers – Singaporeans aged 21 and above living in 1-2 room HDB flats will receive a $300 grocery voucher (3 times the previous amount) in 2020 and $100 in 2021.
- Enhanced Workfare Special Payment – Singaporeans who received Workfare payments in 2019 will receive cash payments of up to $3,000.
- NTUC Care Fund (COVID-19) - Middle- to low-income NTUC union members will receive up to $50 to $300 relief by bank transfer. $25 million will be put up jointly with NTUC and unions to help workers and self-employed persons.
- Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme – Eligible self-employed persons will receive payouts of $1,000 a month for 9 months. Learn more about this here.
- Self-Employed Person Training Support Scheme / NTUC Training Fund (SEPs) – Training allowance rate will be raised to $10 an hour from 1 May 2020, the scheme extended to the end of 2020 and an additional $48 million allocated. Upon completion of the training and submission of the relevant documents, the training allowance will be paid out via bank transfer.
- Income tax payments will be deferred for 3 months for self-employed persons.
Unemployed and retrenched persons and fresh grads:
- COVID-19 Support Grant for retrenched workers – Lower- and middle-income Singaporeans who suffer from job loss as a result of COVID-19 will receive payouts of $800 a month for 3 months, to be paid out in cash and deposited in their bank accounts. Those who need immediate help can apply to the Temporary Relief Fund for a one-time $500 cash payout, to be deposited by bank transfer (only available from 30 April 2020).
- Loan repayments and interest charges for government student loans will be suspended.
- SGUnited Traineeships – Wages paid by companies seeking to offer traineeships to first-time jobseekers will be co-funded.
- SGUnited Jobs Initiative – The scheme aims to create 10,000 more jobs in the public and private sector over the next year.
- Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme – Employers will be paid 25% on the first $4,600 of employees’ monthly salaries (an increase from 8% on first $3,600).
- Enhanced Wage Credit Scheme – An additional $500m will be allocated to co-fund employees’ wage increases (an increase from $600m).
- Income tax payments will be deferred for 3 months for companies.
- Enhanced Property Tax Rebates for non-residential properties – 100% tax rebate for eligible commercial properties including hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, shops and restaurants; 60% rebates for the Integrated Resorts; 30% rebate for other non-residential properties.
- Enhanced Rental Waiver for hawkers – 3 months’ waiver for hawkers and up to 2 months’ waiver for tenants in government properties.
- Enterprise Financing Scheme – Loan quantum of the EFS-Trade Loan will be raised to $10m (up from $5m), and the government’s risk-share to 80%. EFS-SME Working Capital Loan will be raised to $1m (up from $0.6m)
- Loan Insurance Scheme – Premium subsidy will be raised to 80%.
- Temporary Bridging Loan Programme – Maximum loan will be raised to $5m (up from $1m) and programme extended to all sectors.
- Sector-specific support will be offered to aviation, tourism, land transport, maritime and arts and culture sectors
Income is here for you
In addition to the government’s various Resilience Budget initiatives, Income has pledged to support customers who have been affected by COVID-19. Find out more about Income’s Support Schemes and how they can help you.