Singapore announced an additional S$5.1 billion (US$3.6 billion) stimulus to save jobs and protect the livelihoods of people amid the spread of coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic.
This is the third stimulus package, which was unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday, and covers wage subsidies and cash payout.
With the latest announcement, the government’s response to COVID-19 will total S$59.9 billion or around 12 percent of GDP. The budget deficit is estimated to rise to 8.9 percent of GDP this year.
The government obtained President’s in-principle support for a draw of up to S$17 billion from past reserves to finance its second package.
The central bank had eased its monetary policy last week as the city-state is expected to enter a deep recession due to the interruptions to economic activity caused by the outbreak of COVID-19.
“The primary aim of this Solidarity Budget is to take further steps to save jobs and protect the livelihoods of our people during this temporary period of heightened measures,” Heng said.
“We will also help businesses preserve their capacity and capabilities, to resume activities when the circuit breaker is lifted,” he added.
The wage subsidy for all firms was raised to 75 percent of gross monthly wages. The government’s wage subsidy applies to 1.9 million local employees.
Further, foreign worker levy for the month of April is waived.
All adult Singaporeans will receive S$300 cash payout on the top of S$300 payment announced earlier.