Although the battle against COVID-19 is filled with uncertainty, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong believes that Singapore will prevail.
In a Facebook post published on Tuesday (26 May) night, Mr Wong – who serves as the co-chair of the Government’s multi-ministry task force on COVID-19 – spoke about how COVID-19 is a challenge for this generation and how Singapore can overcome it if it has the fortitude to persevere.
His remarks came hours after Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced an additional S$33 billion COVID-19 support package in Parliament. Dubbed the Fortitude Budget, this is the fourth such package Singapore has unveiled since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out.
Echoing Mr Heng’s statement that this budget is primarily designed to focus on jobs, Mr Wong said that the Government is deploying significant resources to fight the pandemic: “COVID-19 is a challenge for our generation. How we respond will define us as a people.
“DPM Heng Swee Keat introduced a $33 bn Fortitude Budget in Parliament today for the next phase of our fight against the pandemic. This comes in addition to the $60 bn set aside in the earlier Unity, Resilience, and Solidarity Budgets. In total, we are committing nearly $100 bn, or around 20% of our GDP, to the fight against the virus. We are deploying significant resources to deal with an unprecedented crisis.
“The central focus of the Fortitude Budget is jobs – to support our workers and protect their livelihoods. More than 100,000 training and job opportunities will be created to cater to Singaporeans with different skills and aspirations.
“We are also providing more support to our businesses, especially those that are unable to re-open immediately after the circuit breaker. SME commercial tenants will enjoy up to 4 months of rental relief, shared equally between the government and landlords. There will be more help for households, and for our social service agencies who are taking care of vulnerable groups during this period.”
He added: “The battle against COVID-19 will be long and uncertain. There will be ups and downs in the journey. But with the fortitude to adapt and persevere, we will ultimately prevail!”
<Our Fortitude Budget: We will Prevail> COVID-19 is a challenge for our generation. How we respond will define us as a…
Read DPM Heng’s Fortitude Budget speech in full here:
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