Another $800m for COVID-19 Support Grant: Heng Swee Keat

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
FILE PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore

SINGAPORE — The government is setting aside another $800 million for the COVID-19 Support Grant, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Tuesday (26 May).

Speaking in Parliament to unveil the $33 billion Fortitude Budget - Singapore’s unprecedented 4th Budget of COVID-19 related measures - Heng outlined various measures to help businesses, workers and households amid the severe impact of the pandemic.  

Heng gave further details of the COVID-19 Support Grant, which is already in place. The grant covers those who have lost their jobs, are placed on no-pay leave, or will see salaries significantly reduced in the coming months due to COVID-19.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development announced on 30 April that the grant will support up to $800 a month for eligible applicants over three months. The amount will be based on the latest salary drawn by an applicant and is capped at $800.

For self-employed persons, over 100,000 of them will be receiving their first payout of $3,000 this week under the Self- Employed Person Income Relief Scheme. So far, NTUC has received over 60,000 applications, and applicants can expect to hear from the union within a month of submission.

(ILLUSTRATION: Enhanced Support for Households under Fortitude Budget/Ministry of Finance)

The government had previously announced a Care and Support Package in previous Budgets to help households with expenses.

In addition to the Solidarity Payment of $600 in cash already paid to adult Singaporeans, lower- and middle-income Singaporeans will be receiving their remaining Care and Support cash payout of $300 or $600 in June. Parents with young Singaporean children will also get the $300 cash payout at the same time.

The GST voucher-cash will also be paid out in August.

Heng noted Singaporeans have given feedback that while they are saving on transport fares and other charges, their utility bills are expected to rise as they stay home during the circuit breaker period.

“To thank all Singaporeans for doing our part in staying home for Singapore, I will provide a one-off $100 Solidarity Utilities Credit to each household with at least one Singapore citizen,” Heng said. The credit will cover all property types and will be reflected in the July or August utilities bill.

The government previously announced that it would double the amount of U-Save rebates through a one-off GST Voucher – U-Save Special Payment – for all eligible HDB households, to help with utilities bills. 

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