SINGAPORE – Following the release of the last Solidarity Budget given by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat last March 26, a third round of the budget measures was announced earlier today, Monday (April 6).

According to Mr Heng, aside from the original payouts that have been implemented, the Singaporean government will be doling out additional monetary help for the country’s citizens, as follows:

In order for all households to cope with the current pandemic, all Singaporeans at least 21-years and above will receive an additional one-off payment of S$600 each for the month of April.

Another is that all firms in every sector will get at least 75 per cent subsidy of their local employee’s wages. This will be applied to the first S$4,600 of wages in April for at least 1.9 million Singaporeans, as well as other permanent residents employees.

The wage subsidy applies to the first S$4,600 of wages paid this month for each of the more than 1.9 million Singaporean and permanent resident employees.

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The Sirs, or Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, will also include those that are self-employed, and those whose properties have an annual value of up to S$21,000. This was raised from the original amount of S$13,000 that was decided on before. Due to these changes, around 100,000 self-employed citizens will now be eligible to avail of the scheme from just 88,000 earlier.

To further support Singaporean nationals, DPM Heng also shared that financial support for businesses will be enhanced by increasing the risk share of loans from 80 per cent of the Resilience Budget up to 90 per cent.

All in all, this third set of additional finance measures is going to cost S$5.1 billion, an additional S$4 billion that will be taken from the national reserves, as approved by President Halimah Yacob.

Mr Heng shared that the reason behind the rollout of this third set of budgetary measures is because, “Additional support will be required to save jobs, preserve capabilities, and provide immediate direct assistance to Singaporeans to help them tide through this exceptional and difficult period.”

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Finance Minister Heng also urged the public to continue to be vigilant in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. He went on to say, “I am confident that we can, and will, pull close together as a nation, even as we physically distance ourselves to save lives. Let us unite, demonstrate our resilience, stay united and press on in solidarity. Together, we will emerge stronger from this!” /TISG