The Singapore government has announced a further S$8 billion to support the economy and businesses in view of Covid-19. This amount will be funded by transferring monies from other areas, such as development expenditures delayed due to the pandemic. The government will not be drawing on past reserves for this round of support.
Under the Job Support Scheme (JSS), the government co-funded 25-75% of the first S$4,600 of gross monthly salaries until end August. With the deterioration in the economy, the JSS will be extended until end March 2021 albeit with a smaller level of subsidies.
Tier-1: sectors which have been the most impacted such as aviation, aerospace, tourism and built environment will see 50% of wages covered, down from 75% previously,
Tier-2: food services, retail, marine & offshore, land transport as well as arts and entertainment sectors, the JSS will be at 30%, down from 50%.
Tier 3: remaining sectors that are managing well, the wage support, currently at 25%, will be reduced to 10% and lasts up to end-March 2021.
For selected industries such as financial services, information and communications technology (ICT) and media, biomedical sciences, precision engineering, electronics as well as online retail and supermarket which have done better, the 10% wage subsidies will continue till end December.
Additionally, a Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI) scheme is launched to support hiring in biomedical sciences, financial services, ICT, public healthcare and long-term care sectors. Under this scheme, the government will co-paying up to 25% of salaries of all new local hires and up to 50% for workers aged 40 and above for one year, subject to a cap.
In a bid to support local tourism, Singaporeans will also be given S$320m worth of credits to discover the local culture and heritage, nature, art and architecture.
Based on the above, there is limited relief for developers. Besides the wage support, there is no announcement of a further extension to the six-month Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) timelines given the delays in construction and problems in sourcing materials due to the lockdown in Singapore and overseas.