Singapore announces additional $ 5.8 billion to boost coronavirus-hit economy


The Singapore government has allocated an additional S $ 8 billion ($ 5.8 billion) to support the economy which has come under pressure from the coronavirus pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng said on Monday. Swee Keat.”The resulting economic impact has been severe,” Heng, who is also the minister responsible for coordinating economic policies, said in a televised speech. He added that “the world economy remains very weak” and that any recovery “will depend on the ability of countries to contain the spread of the virus”.

Singapore reported one of Asia’s worst economic contractions for the first half of the year. Its open and trade-dependent economy has been hit hard, as lockdown measures around the world to slow the spread of the coronavirus have halted much of global economic activity.

The Southeast Asian country last week reported a 13.2% year-over-year contraction in second-quarter gross domestic product – its worst on record, official statistics show. The Singapore government expects the economy to shrink 5-7% this year, which would be its worst recession, official data shows.Many of the support measures announced by the Deputy Prime Minister on Monday are extensions of existing policies. They understand:

  • An extension of wage subsidies up to seven months until March 2021. The amount of subsidies that companies can receive depends on the “projected recovery” of the different sectors;
  • Additional aid of S $ 187 million ($ 136.5 million) for the aviation sector;
  • Cash payments for unemployed Singaporeans or those with significant loss of income and low-wage workers.

Meanwhile, the new measures announced by Heng include S $ 320 million in “tourist credits” for Singaporeans to encourage domestic tourism.

Prior to the announcement of the support measures on Monday, the Singapore government had already dug into its reserves to fund four fiscal stimulus packages worth nearly S $ 100 billion, or about 20% of GDP.

Heng said Singapore will not use its reserves to fund the latest support package.

“We intend to fund these measures by reallocating funds from other areas, such as development spending that has been delayed due to Covid-19. There are no plans to draw on past reserves for these measures, beyond what has been previously approved, ”he said.

Covid-19 is the official name for the coronavirus disease.

Singapore was one of the first countries outside of China to report cases of the coronavirus. As of Monday afternoon, the country reported more than 55,800 infections, according to its health ministry.


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