On Mon, 6 April 2020, Mr. Swee Keat – Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister had a presentation about Singapore’s Solidarity Budget in Parliament.
Respond to the impact of Covid-19 on Singapore’s economy and society, the Government established The Solidarity Budget complements and enhances measures on 18 Feb 2020 and the subsequent supplementary Resilience Budget on 26 Mar 2020.
Solidarity Budget 2020
According to the Ministry of Finance, the purpose of The Solidarity Budget is to maintain employment during the Covid-19.
To strongly support businesses in addressing cash flows issues, retaining their employees and being ready to continue activities when the circuit breaker is lifted, the solidarity budget enhances most of the measured introduced in the previous budgets included:
- Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme
- Further Measures to Ease Foreign Labour Costs
- Further Support for Rental Costs
- Enhanced Financing Support
- Enhanced Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS)
- Enhanced Support for Households
1. Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme
In the period of battling with Covid-19, the Job Support Scheme (JSS) is a temporary program to keep the employees for businesses in 2020. All active employers who have made CPF contributions for their local employees (Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents) can be registered for JSS, except for Government organizations (local and foreign) and representative offices.
The Jobs Support Scheme has been changed after the first 2 budget releases, as follows:
- From October to December 2019 and February to March 2020, the funding for the salary paid is 25%
- In April and May 2020, the grant for the Salary paid is 75%
- In June and July 2020, the grant for the salary paid is 25%
The grant will be measured and based on the CPF contribution data of the employers, so it is not necessary for them to apply for the JSS.
2. Further Measures to Ease Foreign Labour Costs
On 29 February 2020, employers who own S Pass or Work Permit will be received a Foreign Worker Levy (FWL) refund of $750. Additionally, employers have been waived the tax paid in April 2020. These measures will be broadened by the Government, as follows:
- Since 1 May 2020, FWL refund a budget of $750 for each S Pass or Work Permit holder employed
- Waiver of FWL has been applied in May 2020
Following the process and credit of the FWL rebate, these are included:
- Companies with PayNow Corporate accounts are required to confirm by 8 May 2020 to receive the FWL return on 29 May 2020. Besides, Businesses confirm by 22 May 2020, they will receive a return of FWL on 19 June 2020.
- Companies without PayNow Corporate accounts are required to confirm by 22 May 2020 to receive the payment by cheque from 3 July 2020.
3. Further Support for Rental Costs
The Law Minister of Singapore has issued a Bill to allow Businesses and individuals to reschedule some contractual obligations that involved paying rent, repaying loans, or completing work for a period. Furthermore, this Bill will guarantee that property owners pass fully the Property Tax Debate to tenants.
The Government also has a prior to industrial, office and agricultural tenants of Government agencies by increasing the rental waiver from 0.5 to 1 month