As of 26 March 2020, Singapore has committed over SGD 55 billion to fund a Unity Budget and a supplementary Resilience Budget aimed at protecting Singaporeans and businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
To help businesses overcome immediate challenges regarding cashflow & cost and credit, the Government has announced certain measures which include the following:
1.1 Cashflow & Cost
1.1.1 Quick payouts under Singapore’s Jobs Support Scheme and Wage Credit Scheme, which will flow SGD 16.2 billion into businesses by October 2020.
Under the Jobs Support Scheme, for the month of April 2020, all firms will receive a wage subsidy of 75% of gross monthly wages, for the first SGD 4,600 of wages paid in April 2020 for each local employee.
1.1.2 Employers will not be required to pay foreign worker levy due in April 2020.
In addition, the government will pay a foreign worker levy rebate of SGD 750 for each S Pass holder’s work permit, based on previous levies paid on 2020.
1.1.3 Enhancing rental waivers for tenants:
- three (3) months’ rental waiver for stallholders in hawker centres managed by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or NEA-appointed operators
- two (2) months’ rental waiver for eligible commercial tenants of Government agencies
- 0.5 months’ rental waiver for all other non-residential tenants of Government agencies.
1.1.4 Freezing all government fees and charges by one (1) year, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
1.2.1 Enterprise Financing Scheme (EFS):
- maximum loan quantum of EFS-Trade Loan increased from SGD 5 million to SGD 10 million; and Government’s risk-share raised to 80%
- maximum loan quantum of EFS-SME Working Capital Loan increased from SGD 0.6 million to SGD 1 million.
1.2.2 Loan Insurance Scheme (LIS):
- increasing subsidies to businesses for loan insurance premiums from 50% to 80%.
1.2.3 Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP):
- expanded from enterprises in tourism sector to cover all sectors
- maximum supported loan raised from SGD 1 million to SGD 5 million.
1.2.4 Government’s risk-share raised to 90% for loans initiated from 8 April 2020 until 31 March 2021.
1.2.5 Deferment of capital payments for one (1) year on EFS-Working Capital Loan and TBLP Loans if requested by businesses, subject to assessment by participating financial institutions.
1.2.6 Ability for SMEs to defer principal payments on their secured term loans till the end of 2020. More than SGD 40 billion of SMEs’ existing loans are likely to qualify for this relief.
1.3 Sector-Based Support
1.3.1 Aviation Sector
- over SGD 400 million on enhanced Jobs Support Scheme to help businesses whose activities are based principally in the aviation sector to retain their local workers. For every local worker in employment, there will be a provision of a 75% wage offset for the first SGD 4,600 in monthly wages of local workers
- SGD 350 million enhanced aviation support package to fund measures such as rebates on landing and parking charges, and rental relief for airlines, ground handlers and cargo agents. This will also allow Singapore to retain a minimum level of connectivity to the world even during the pandemic, which is critical to enable overseas Singaporeans to return home and keep supply lines for essential goods open.
1.3.2 Tourism Sector
- enhanced Jobs Support Scheme for licensed hotels, travel agencies, tourist attractions, cruise terminals and operators, and purpose-built MICE venue operators, to offset a total of 75% of the first SGD 4,600 of monthly wages.
1.3.3 Food Services Sector
- enhanced Jobs Support Scheme for firms in the food and beverage industry – 50% wage offset for the first SGD 4,600 in monthly wages of local workers.
1.3.4 Land Transport Sector
- point-to-point support package to be extended and enhanced for taxis and private-hire cars. This will cost the Government another SGD 95 million
- Special Relief Fund payments of SGD 300 per vehicle (taxis and private-hire cars) per month until end-September 2020
- private bus owners will be provided with a one (1) year road tax rebate and a six (6) month waiver of parking charges at government-managed parking facilities. This will cost the Government SGD 23 million.
1.3.5 Maritime Sector
- Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to introduce 50% concession on port dues for passenger vessels from 1 March 2020 to 31 December 2020, on top of any existing concessions
- additional 35% rebates on counter rental and overnight berthing for regional ferry operators
- grant of 100% waiver of public licence fees for passenger terminal operators
1.3.6 Arts and Culture
- SGD 55 million support package to save jobs and support upskilling and digitalisation of the sector.