Singapore Boosts Virus Relief by S$33 Billion With Focus on Jobs

Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered a fourth fiscal package of S$33 billion ($23 billion) to counter the economic fallout of the coronavirus, providing specific support to saving jobs.

The latest measures will help businesses and workers affected by border closures and movement restrictions, Heng said in a Parliament session Tuesday.

The new package takes Singapore’s total support to almost S$100 billion, or about 20% of gross domestic product, Heng said. It comes with the economy headed for itsworst contraction in Singapore’s history as an independent country.

President Halimah Yacob has already given herin-principle support for the government to tap past reserves to help finance the latest stimulus package. That’s an unprecedented third time this year that reserves will be used.

Singapore was among the first governments in the region to unveil stimulus measures in February to counter losses from the pandemic, with the bulk coming in March via a S$48 billionpackage that included wage subsidies and cash handouts. Officials expanded support since then as economic losses mounted amid global restrictions on trade and travel.

— With assistance by Melissa Cheok, Joyce Koh, and Niluksi Koswanage

Source: Read Full Article