Netizens call on Govt to help unemployed Singaporeans instead of paying over S$4 billion wage support to employers

More than 140,000 employers will be receiving the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) payouts which totalling over S$4 billion from 29 July, the Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Sunday (19 July).

The Minister announced on Facebook yesterday that with this July payout, over S$15 billion would have been disbursed to employers to support wage costs for 1.9 million local employees.

“I urge all employers to do your utmost to retain your staff, and to take the opportunity to transform your operations and upskill your employees during this period. Together, we can emerge stronger from this crisis,” said Mr Heng.

In a joint statement with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) yesterday, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) stated that employers who have made mandatory CPF contributions for their local employees will be qualified to receive the JSS payouts.

“For the payment in July, employers will receive up to 75% support for the first $4,600 of wages paid to local employees in February and March 2020,” it noted.

The aviation and tourism sectors will get 75 per support under the scheme, while those in the food services, retail, arts and entertainment, land transport, and marine and offshore sectors will get 50 per cent of wage support. Employers in all other sectors will receive 25 per cent support.

On top of the July payout, the Government will also subsidise 75 per cent support for wages paid in April during the circuit breaker period. MOF explained part of the wage support was disbursed as an advance in the previous payout in April to provide immediate cash flow support.

“As the amount disbursed was calculated based on October 2019 wages, necessary adjustments will be made in the upcoming payment in July, in accordance with actual wages paid in April 2020,” it added.

Eligible employers will be notified by post of their payout amount or log in to the myTax Portal online to view the electronic copy of the letter.

Those with PayNow Corporate or Giro arrangements with IRAS can expect JSS payouts from 29 July, while others will receive their cheques from 4 August.

“Employers are to ensure that mandatory CPF contributions made for their employees are accurate, so that they receive the right amounts of JSS payout,” said the IRAS and MOF.

Netizens urged Govt to help the retrenched workers instead

Following the Government’s initiatives to help employers in paying their local workers’ wages, netizens pointed out that financial support should have been offered to the retrenched workers as many companies have downsized manpower amid the circuit breaker.

They penned their thoughts under the comment section of Channels News Asia (CNA) Facebook post – which covered on the JSS payout – questioning the Government’s point of lending financial support to employers instead of helping the unemployed Singaporeans.

While others urged the Government to ensure that the employers will not be laying off their employees after receiving the JSS payout.

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