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Resilience Budget: Self-employed persons to get S$1,000 cash each month, more training allowance

THE Singapore government will provide direct cash assistance to self-employed persons to help them ride out the Covid-19 storm, under a supplementary budget announced on Thursday afternoon.

Eligible self-employed persons will receive S$1,000 a month for nine months as part of a new Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS). The government is setting aside S$1.2 billion for this portion of the Resilience Budget.

The Ministry of Manpower will provide details on the SIRS soon, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament on Thursday.

“Overall, we expect to reach out to most of the self-employed persons who depend on self-employment for their livelihood and have less means and family support,” he added.

In addition, the Self-Employed Person Training Support Scheme will be extended to December 2020. With effect from May 1, 2020, the hourly training allowance will be increased to S$10 from S$7.50.

The enhanced training allowance is on top of existing training subsidies, which cover up to 90 per cent of fees, Mr Heng said. Trainees can also tap their SkillsFuture Credit to further offset course fees.

Another S$48 million will be set aside under the Resilience Budget for this extended training support scheme and bumped up allowance.

These measures are meant to provide “sustained support for self-employed persons to make full use of any downtime during this period to train and upskill”, Mr Heng said.

“Through these schemes, and with our many partners, we hope to provide a safety net for the self-employed during this outbreak,” he added.

Looking ahead, the government will see how it can better support self-employed people in strengthening their financial security. “We will study this carefully,” Mr Heng said.