SINGAPORE — Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will deliver a Ministerial Statement on Monday (17 August) and announce more measures to help workers and businesses amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The government has unveiled almost $100 billion over four Budgets so far this year to help Singapore cope with the severe impact of the pandemic.
The Statement will be delivered at 3.30pm and carried on CNA, CNA938, and Mediacorp MeWatch.
In a post on his Facebook page on Friday, Heng noted that the pandemic is still affecting many parts of the world, with the total number of cases having tripled to almost 20 million since May.
The global economy has taken a very severe hit while Singapore experienced its worst quarterly gross domestic product performance on record in the second quarter, said Heng, who is also Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies.
“However, given the global economic and health crisis, we are likely to see more job losses and retrenchments in the coming months, and it will be many more months before our economy recovers fully. Even then, it will not be back to business as usual.”
As Singapore gradually re-opens its economy, the recovery across industries is likely to be uneven and uncertain, Heng said.
Many sectors are gradually regaining their footing as economic activities resume while a few sectors are growing and even hiring. But several very hard-hit sectors are unlikely to recover for some years to come, he added.
“Over the past few weeks, many people have shared with me their anxieties and concerns about their livelihoods. Weighing on their minds was also the uncertainty ahead, given that some of the support schemes are expiring,” Heng said.
“We will continue to support our workers and firms through this crisis. But we are not able to sustain the same level of support indefinitely.”
The government is committed to walk “this difficult journey” together with everyone and overcome the crisis, Heng said.
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