Heng Swee Keat

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that his government will be spending S$48.4 billion to save the collapsed Singapore economy, triggered by the coronavirus outbreak. The huge spending will be concurrently used as an election carrot for the May General Election, with most financial assistance lasting only 3 months until July.

The breakdown is as follow:

1) “Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme” (S$15.1 billion)
Summary: Government paying part of wages, foreigners included.
-25% of all wages funded by government for 9 months
-75% of wages in aviation and tourism sector
-50% of wages in food services

2) “Covid-19 Support Grant” (S$4 billion)
Summary: Unemployment benefit, foreigners with permanent residency included
-S$800 monthly payout for unemployed for 3 months

3) “Enhanced Care And Support Package” (S$3 billion)
Summary: Cash payout for each citizen
-S$300 to S$900 based on eligibility

4) “Deferment Of Income Tax Payments For Companies And Self-Employed Persons” (S$0)
Summary: 3 months delay of income tax for companies and self-employed, foreigners included
-Tax payments deferred from April, May, and June 2020 will instead be collected in July, August, and September 2020 respectively.

5) “Enhanced Property Tax Rebate For Non-Residential Properties” (S$1.8 billion)
Summary: Property tax free for commercial properties only
-Hotels to pay no property tax
-30% tax rebate for non-residential properties
-Nothing for residential properties

6) “Rental Waivers For Tenants In Government-owned/Managed Non-Residential Facilities”
Summary: Rental waived for small businesses
-Rent of small business tenants like hawker stalls waived for three months

7) “Enhanced Financing Support” (S$20 billion)
Summary: Government loan for businesses
-Up to S$10 million loan for businesses, interest rates not confirmed

8) “Providing Sector-Specific Support” (S$1 billion)
Summary: Government bailout for businesses
-Companies in aviation sector like Singapore Airlines get S$750 million bailout

9) “Building Capabilities And Resilience” (Undisclosed)
Summary: Government paying businesses for equipment upgrading and employee training

The millionaire minister U-turned from his earlier statement about the coronavirus being “not as serious as SARS”:

“The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented crisis of a highly complex nature. In economic terms alone, this will likely be the worst economic contraction since independence. This extraordinary situation calls for extraordinary measures.”

The country will go into a S$39.2 billion deficit for the year of 2020, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore expected to a -4% GDP result. The PAP government will be withdrawing from the national reserves to fund this deficit, with puppet president Halimah Yacob already approving a blank cheque.

Minister Heng Swee Keat also announced that Cabinet Ministers, Parliament Speakers and the President will be taking a 3 month pay cut. The world’s richest politicians pay cut will save Singapore at least S$16 million in salaries.