Singapore’s economy needs financial support amid the spread of the coronavirus, said the top official. Along with other stimulus measures, the government sets aside $575 mln to curb the economic impact of the CoVID19.
Singapore’s state budget will receive additionally several instalments as the government support. On Tuesday, the decision of that kind of support was made to help cushion the economy against the coronavirus outbreak and job risks.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that a new decade marked by tectonic shifts in our operating environment, and major uncertainties. That is why he will set aside S$800 million ($575 million) to fight the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, and provide two economic support packages totalling $4bn to support businesses and consumers.
The bulk of the S$800 million support to fight the coronavirus will go to the Health Ministry. Of the S$5.6 billion economic support, S$4 billion will primarily go toward supporting businesses with wage costs. The rest will assist consumers by offering “additional, timely help to more households with cost of living,” especially for poor families.
Singapore offers enhanced package of subsidies for low-income families
Singapore had been planning additional support for businesses hit by the ongoing U.S.-China trade war before the coronavirus outbreak set in earlier this year. So far, Singapore reported on 70 cases of coronavirus.
The CoVID19 package announced Tuesday is not the first financial support Singapore offers to its budget. In 2003, during the SARS alarming situation, the government rolled out S$230 million stimuli.
The government still plans to raise the goods-and-services tax by 2025, but won’t increase it next year, the top financial official added. In his speech in front of Parliament, the finance minister outlined an enhanced package of subsidies (S$6 bn) to support consumers when the GST increase does take effect.
The majority of Singaporean families will receive offsets of at least five years’ worth to cover GST expenses. Lower- and middle-income Singaporeans and retirees remain eligible for additional support.