Everything you need to know about MOF’s $ 1.1 billion Covid-19 support package


The Treasury Department (MOF) announced today (July 23rd) a $ 1.1 billion support package to help businesses and workers mitigate the impact of new Covid-19 restrictions following the emergence of new clusters.

Singapore returned to phase two (increased alert) from yesterday, and until August 18, there were stricter measures to suppress the worsening of the virus outbreak.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the package will be financed by redistribution resulting from a one-off underutilization due to Covid-19 and fiscal resources allocated earlier in the event of an extension of support measures.

Support includes increased wage subsidies under the Employment Support Scheme (JSS) and rental incentives, greater support for taxi drivers and vehicles renting private vehicles, as well as a new fund to help market and cargo owners.

“In compiling this support package, the government has taken into account the feedback of workers and businesses and engaged leaders of business and trade associations to understand their concerns,” the ministry said in a statement.

1. Improved JSS support

Support for the JSS will increase to 60 percent for the hardest-hit sectors such as food and beverage, gyms, performing arts organizations and art education centers, from July 22nd to August 18th.

Meanwhile, support will be increased to 40 percent for sectors significantly affected by the restrictions.

They include the retail sector, affected personal care services, tourist attractions, licensed hotels, cruise and regional ferry operators, MICE organizers, travel agencies, museums, art galleries, cinema operators and other family entertainment centers.

JSS support for these sectors will be reduced to 10 percent from August 19-31.

2. Relief of commercial real estate rental

Tenants of state-owned commercial real estate will receive additional tenancy waivers for four weeks, and eligible tenants and owners of privately owned tenants will receive an additional cash payment for rental relief within two weeks under the Lease Support Scheme.

This will offset the full-time phase 2 (HA) lease for state-owned commercial real estate and for half the duration of the enhanced measures for privately owned commercial real estate.

More details will be available on the website of the Singapore Internal Revenue Authority (IRAS).

Noting that many tenants said not all landlords received rental support, the Treasury said it was considering requiring rental obligations to be shared fairly between the government, landlords and qualified tenants.

3. Improved Covid-19 Driver Assistance Fund

To support taxis and private car drivers, the government will strengthen the Covid-19 Driver Assistance Fund (CDRF) from July 22 to the end of September.

The fund currently provides eligible drivers with $ 10 per vehicle per day for 60 days from July and $ 5 per vehicle per day for the next 30 days.

Under this latest improvement, eligible drivers will receive an additional $ 10 per vehicle per day from July 22 to August 31 and an additional $ 5 per vehicle per day in September.

4. Support for falcons and market owners

The new Market and Hawker Center Relief Fund will provide a one-time $ 500 in cash to all individual owners of cooked food stalls and market stalls at centers run by the National Environment Agency (NEA) or operators appointed by NEA.

This follows the announcement earlier this month of an additional one-month subsidy for fees for table cleaning and centralized dishwashing services, and a one-month waiver for these stall owners.

5. Support to other affected workers

To help other workers affected by the tougher measures, the government will also make available a temporary Covid-19 recovery grant until Aug. 31.

It allows for the payment of up to $ 700 for those who have been forced on unpaid leave and up to $ 500 for those who have lost at least half of their income for at least one month, due to tighter security management measures since May 16.

According to the Ministry of Finance, existing grant recipients who still need assistance can apply for another grant payment.

6. Expanding food delivery, e-commerce boost packages

Given the impact of the austerity measures on the food and beverage sector, Enterprise Singapore (ESG) will reintroduce a food delivery package booster to cover part of the cost of food delivery through food delivery platforms and independent logistics partners, for transactions carried out from 22 July to August 18.

For the use of food delivery platforms, ESG will fund five percent of the commission fees charged. ESG will fund 20 percent of the shipping costs for food delivery orders through independent logistics partners.

Support will also be given to local retailers to get local e-commerce platforms through an extension of the e-commerce boost package, which will now be available until 16 November.

Merchants receive a one-time 80 percent support for eligible fee charges for services charged by platforms such as Lazada, Qoo10, and Shopee, and are limited to $ 8,000.

More details can be found on the ESG website.

Highlight Credit: Getty Images

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