The Singapore Government will allocate a sum of S$6.4 billion budget for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak measures, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said during his Budget speech today (18 February).
According to the Finance Minister, S$800 million will be set aside to support frontline agencies in their efforts to contain the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), with the bulk set to go to the Ministry of Health (MOH).
“Our immediate concern is to protect you and your families. We will put in every effort to slow down the spread of the virus,” Mr Heng said.
The Government also introduced two special packages with a total budget of S$5.6 billion.
The first package is the Stabilisation and Support Package which is worth a total of S$4 billion to help stabilize the economy and support workers to remain employed and aid companies with cash flow.
The Minister said the outbreak will certainly impact the country’s economy, disrupting supply chains and creating ripple effects on other sectors, especially now that the country’s economy links with China’s.
He also noted the five sectors – tourism, aviation, retail, food services, and point-to-point transport services – are most affected by the spread of the coronavirus and will receive additional support that includes property tax rebates and rental waivers.
Meanwhile, the second package is the Care and Support Package worth a sum of S$1.6 billion that meant to provide households with expenses “during this period of uncertainty”.
“This year, with the economic slowdown and the uncertainties of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are mindful that many families are facing greater pressures. During my fellow MPs’ and my own walkabouts, people often tell us that they are worried about job security and rising expenditures,” Mr Heng said.
With this package, all Singaporeans aged 21-years-old and above will receive a one-off cash payout – S$300, S$200 or S$100 – depending on their income.
In addition, families with children and elderly parents will also receive cash payouts in which those with a child aged 20-years-old and below will obtain S$100 cash payout and Singaporeans aged 50-years-old and above will get a Passion Card top-up worth S$100.