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Resilience Budget: S$15.1b Jobs Support Scheme to help companies
THE government will allocate S$15.1 billion to the Jobs Support Scheme, which will co-fund wages and help companies keep their 1.9 million local employees in work, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Thursday.
This is a more than tenfold increase from the initial S$1.3 billion allocated in Budget 2020.
"This is more than twice the level of support provided during the Global Financial Crisis. With this support from the government, I urge employers to do your part to hold on to your workers," Mr Heng said during his Resilience Budget speech in parliament.
For every local worker in employment, the government's co-funding of wages will be raised from 8 to 25 per cent, Mr Heng said.
Firms in the food services sector will receive more support - at 50 per cent of wages. Firms in the aviation and tourism sectors, which are the most badly affected sectors, will receive support for 75 per cent of wages.
The monthly qualifying wage ceiling will be raised from S$3,600 to S$4,600, which is the median wage in Singapore.
The scheme will also be extended for another two quarters, until the end of 2020, and employers will receive a total of three tranches of payouts in May, July and October this year.
"Our immediate priority is to save jobs, support our workers and protect livelihoods. Over one-third of the Resilience Budget is dedicated to this," Mr Heng said.
He said the measures will help mitigate the extent of the downturn and more importantly, help save jobs and protect livelihoods, even though an economic recession cannot be prevented.