Singapore — Commenting on the Government’s S$33 billion Fortitude Budget, which adds to three earlier budgets aimed at helping businesses and individuals suffering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, opposition People’s Voice party chief Lim Tean has queried the amount mentioned because it is not as impressive as it looks.
Mr Lim has also described the financial assistance given to individuals as “paltry”. Individuals have so far received only S$600. He cites the higher amounts given in Japan (the equivalent of almost S$4,000), Hong Kong (S$1,800) and the United States (S$1,700) to make a case for Singaporeans to get “at least another S$1,000 to tide through this horrific period”.
In a YouTube video on Friday (May 29), Mr Lim noted that this month alone, 8,663 businesses closed and that “the figures could be even worse this coming month”.
Mr Lim, pointing out that the Government must become the “prime combatant” in unforeseen pandemics such as these, said “it is quite clear to me that the Government is actually not going to spend S$33 billion to revive the economy or to ensure that businesses carry on, or that people do not lose their jobs”.
He continued: “In fact, I cannot see how they are even spending close to S$20 billion.”
Mr Lim said that, from what he gleamed from the figures, with all the amounts added, “it does not appear to me that they are going to spend more than S$11 billion. So I do not know where the other S$9 billion is going to be spent or where it is going to, unless, they are also adding in the waivers and the rebates for foreign worker levies”.
“So, my friends, S$33 billion sounds impressive, but the true fact of the matter is that it is not as impressive as the figures look,” he added, calling the financial assistance given to Singaporeans by the Government has been “paltry”.
As for the job market, Mr Lim said that “today in Singapore, there are 400,000 PMETs who are foreigners”.
He added that S-pass holders have jobs that Singaporeans “can do and will want to do, and even more so in the coming months and years because of the job losses we know are going to happen because of Covid-19”.
“It is time to take those jobs back, and no decent government will allow job opportunities to go to a foreigner ahead of its own citizens.”
Mr Lim concluded by reaffirming that a People’s Voice government will “freeze all the S-passes” and “dramatically reduce the number of employment passes available for foreigners”. /TISG