Hero Lai Lo: Super Budgets Save The Day
It’s a bird!
It’s a plane!
It’s a super budget!
No! It’s FOUR SUPER BUDGETS that will tide us through the COVID-19 crisis!
We zero in on the hero stats of these Fantastic Four (named after the qualities that Singapore needs to get through the crisis).
And we promise, they're no Virus Vanguard.
1. THE FORTITUDE BUDGET
Strength: $33 billion
Origins: Announced 26 May
Powers and abilities: Saves jobs, creates jobs, helps migrant workers and seniors, supports start-ups, provides payouts to those who’ve lost jobs
$2.9 billion to boost and extend Job Support Scheme by one more month, to help businesses retain workers
$2 billion SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package: to create close to 100,000 opportunities (40,000 jobs + 25,000 traineeships + 30,000 skills training placements)
More than $500 million to support the digital transformation of businesses, including support for e-payments, adopting digital solutions and deepening digital capabilities
One-off $100 utilities credit to every household with a Singaporean (since people were WFH during the CB) to be credited in July or August 2020 utilities bill
$800 million to cover those who have lost their jobs, are placed on no-pay leave, or will see salaries significantly reduced in the coming months due to COVID-19
Coming soon: Scheme to help seniors become more digitally savvy
2. THE SOLIDARITY BUDGET
Strength: $5.1 billion
Origin: Announced 6 Apr
Powers and abilities: Saves jobs, helps migrant workers, supports businesses, provides cash payouts
$4 billion to bolster support for businesses to help them retain workers and stay viable
$1.1 billion Care and Support Package: a one-off Solidarity Payment of $600 to Singaporeans aged 21 and above ($300 announced in the Care and Support package in February + additional $300)
Waiver of foreign worker levy
3. THE RESILIENCE BUDGET
Strength: $48.4 billion
Origin: Announced 26 Mar
Powers and abilities: Saves jobs, helps the self-employed, supports sectors hit hardest by COVID-19 crisis
$15.1 billion Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme: Enhanced support packages for aviation, tourism, land transport, and arts and culture sectors
$1.2 billion Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme: three quarterly cash payouts of $3,000 to be disbursed in May, July and October. The aim: to help those who have lost income because of the COVID-19 crisis to tide over this period
SGUNited Traineeships and Jobs Initiative: to support those who have recently graduated or will soon be graduating from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Polytechnics, Universities and other private educational institutions in 2019 or 2020, to take up traineeship opportunities across various sectors
4. THE UNITY BUDGET
Strength: $6.4 billion
Origin: Announced 18 Feb
Powers and abilities: Saves jobs, helps companies, cares for Singaporeans.
$4 billion Stabilisation and Support Package:
- to keep workers in jobs (Jobs Support Scheme)
- to help companies with their cash flow
- to provide additional support for sectors directly affected by Covid-19
$1.6 billion Care and Support Package:
- those less well-off to receive more
- includes a one-off cash payout ($100-$300) for every Singaporean aged 21 and above
$800 million for various ministries:
- to support front-line agencies fighting the outbreak
- the bulk of the funds for agencies to go to the Ministry of Health
Still got money meh? (Yes, got.)
Total of 4 Super Budgets: $92.9 billion
Total drawn from Past Reserves this financial year: $52 billion
(President Halimah gave approval to draw up to $21 billion from our Past Reserves for the Resilience and Solidarity Budgets + in-principle support to draw up to $31 billion for the Fortitude Budget)
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has said that although Singapore's fiscal position will be much weaker, we have sufficient reserves to tide us over a prolonged period of difficulty:
"For now, the most important thing is first, keep our people safe. And second, let's get the economy going again, as much as possible. It will not be easy. But if we put our minds to it, we can emerge stronger. And with that, we can begin to rebuild our resources over time."
He added: "We have been very fortunate that we have sufficient reserves to tide us through even through a more prolonged difficult period. But we have to be very, very careful how we spend this and make sure that we use this wisely and use it well."