Fortitude Budget Will Create Jobs & Provide Training Opportunities
As we reach the 50th day of our ‘Circuit Breaker’, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the 4th budget to combat the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Named the Fortitude Budget, the package is aimed at creating and saving jobs, at the same time providing training opportunities for workers in Singapore.
On Tuesday (26 May) afternoon, Mr Heng unveiled more details on the budget. In particular.
According to him, the latest package will amount to $33 billion of which $31 billion will be drawn from the national reserves.
Fortitude Budget to focus on jobs
Together with the 3 previous budgets, the Fortitude Budget – which costs $33 billion – brings the support measures provided thus far to nearly $100 billion — almost 20% of the nation’s GDP.
As announced previously, the Fortitude Budget will focus on jobs in Singapore and support those affected by border controls and safe-distancing measures.
The “landmark” package will focus on 3 key areas:
- Protect livelihoods and transform business
- Support households and community
- Support frontline agencies in the Covid-19 battle.
First, DPM Heng announced that the wage-support scheme would be enhanced and extended for some firms.
Hawkers will receive additional support to help them leverage off the surge in online orders. These funds will amount to $500 million.
Rental waivers worth $2 billion will be given to small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore.
A new bill will be introduced next week to ensure landlords are passing on these rental grants to their tenants.
100,000 job opportunities will also be created for workers with different skill levels across different industries.
Lastly, each household with at least 1 Singaporean will also receive a $100 credit for their utility bills.
Let’s make every cent of it count
It has been around 4 months since reported its first case back in late-January.
Since then, the government has announced 4 separate budgets worth $100 billion to combat the pandemic and the effect it will have on our country.
However, unprecedented, black swan events like this call for unprecedented measures like spending 20% of our GDP on support measures.
As DPM Heng said, let’s make every cent of it count, and help Singapore back to her full, pre-Covid-19 glory.
Featured image adapted from YouTube.
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