Other than the health of Singaporeans being affected, our economy has been hit quite hard too.
During Budget 2020 on 18 February 2020, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat shared the government’s plans to help badly affected industries.
Generally, the government is going to support workers through a 2-prong approach. First is through a new Jobs Support Scheme. The second is through enhancing the existing Wage Credit Scheme. The government will also increase cash flow support for businesses.
New Jobs Support Scheme
- Government will offset 8% of wages for every local worker in employment, for 3 months
- Capped monthly at S$3 600
- Payment will be given to employers by the end of July this year
Enhanced Wage Credit Scheme
- Monthly wage ceiling will be raised from S$4 000 to S$5 000 for qualifying wage increases given in 2019 and 2020
- Government co-funding levels for 2019 and 2020 qualifying wage increases will be raised by 5 percentage points to 20% and 15% respectively
Cash flow support for businesses
- A corporate income tax rebate will be given to all tax-paying companies, at a rate of 25% of tax payable, for the Year of Assessment 2020
- Rebates will be capped at S$15 000 per company and cost estimated S$400 million in total
- Enterprise Financing scheme’s Working Capital Loan component will also be enhanced for 1 year. The maximum loan quantum will be doubled to S$600 000, while the Government’s risk-share on the loans will be upped to 80%, from the current 50% to 70%
The government has also taken into consideration how some sectors have been affected more than others. Hence, there is also additional support for these sectors.
- A property tax rebate of 30% will be granted for the year 2020 for the accommodation and function room components of licensed hotels and serviced apartments, as well as prescribed MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) venues
- International cruise and regional ferry terminals will receive a 15% property tax rebate
- Singapore’s 2 integrated resorts will receive a rebate of 10%
- A temporary bridging loan programme will be introduced for a year to help businesses in the tourism sector with their operating costs and cash flow
- The loan limit per company will be S$1 million
- Interest rate will be capped at 5%. The government will take on 80% of the risk of the loan
- Rebates on aircraft landing and parking charges will be rolled out
- Rental rebates for shops and cargo agents at Changi Airport
- Changi Airport will receive a 15% property tax rebate
Retail and Food services sector
- Stallholders in NEA-managed hawker centres and markets will be given a month’s rental waiver
- Other government agencies will provide a half month rental waiver to their commercial tenants
- 15% property tax rebate will also be granted for qualifying commercial properties
- Landlords are strongly urged to pass this on to their tenants by reducing rentals
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