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Budget 2020: S$2.4b to help firms defray wage costs

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For every local worker in employment, the government will offset 8% of wages, up to a monthly cap of S$3,600, for three months.

THE government will help companies defray their wage costs through two schemes under a S$4 billion Stabilisation and Support Package unveiled by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget speech on Tuesday.

One new measure is the S$1.3 billion Jobs Support Scheme, which Mr Heng said will help enterprises retain the 1.9 million local workers employed here.

For every local worker in employment, the government will offset 8 per cent of wages, up to a monthly cap of S$3,600, for three months.

This sum will be paid to employers by the end of July this year.

Meanwhile, the existing Wage Credit Scheme (WCS), which co-funds wage increases for Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage of up to S$4,000, will be enhanced with a top up of S$1.1 billion.

The monthly wage ceiling will be raised to S$5,000 for qualifying wage increases given in 2019 and 2020.

Mr Heng said the government co-funding levels for 2019 and 2020 qualifying wage increases will also be raised by 5 percentage points to 20 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

The WCS enhancements will go to about 90,000 enterprises and benefit more than 700,000 Singaporean employees.

For more Budget 2020 stories, visit bt.sg/budget20.