July 18, 2024


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DPM Heng Swee Keat to deliver ministerial statement on additional COVID-19 support measures

SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat will deliver a ministerial statement on Thursday (Mar 26) regarding the Government’s additional support measures for workers, businesses and households in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ministerial statement will be delivered on Thursday afternoon in Parliament, said the Ministry of Finance. 

The full ministerial statement will be published on the Singapore Budget website after delivery and there will be live television and radio coverage.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Mr Heng said the “supplementary budget” will support Singaporeans amid the outbreak, which has “inevitably taken a big toll on our economy”.

“This is a Budget to support Singaporeans to stay united and resilient. This is the first time that we are introducing a supplementary budget so soon after the main budget, reflecting how fast the situation has deteriorated over the past weeks,” he wrote.

“COVID-19 is spreading across the globe, and the situation is changing swiftly. 

“No one can foretell the future, but as long as we stay alert and dynamic, we can adapt to the rapidly evolving situation.”

Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh wrote on Facebook that Members of Parliament have “just received a notice” about the ministerial statement.

He said: “Crises often bring moments of reflection. COVID-19 gives us all a chance and an opportunity to look beyond our political role as a check and balance in Parliament.

“Workers’ Party members, volunteers and me included are constantly asking ourselves – what more can we do?”

READ: Singapore cuts 2020 GDP forecast range to -0.5% to 1.5% due to COVID-19 outbreak

READ: Need for ‘global effort’ to tackle growing economic crisis brought on by COVID-19 outbreak: Lawrence Wong

In a separate statement, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said that it will release the advance gross domestic product (GDP) estimates for the first quarter of 2020 at 8am on Thursday. 

Mr Heng previously announced that Singapore will spend S$4 billion on a slew of new measures and enhancements to existing schemes to stabilise its economy amid the near-term uncertainties caused by COVID-19.

In his Budget speech in February, Mr Heng said the special Stabilisation and Support Package will help workers to remain employed and aid companies with cash flow.

For the transport sector, the Ministry of Transport in February announced a S$77 million Point-to-Point Support Package for taxi and private-hire car drivers. The Government will contribute S$45 million towards the package, with the remaining provided by taxi and private-hire car operators.

Mr Heng announced on Mar 11 that the Government had begun working on a second stimulus package as both the global economy and COVID-19 outbreak have worsened since the first package was announced.

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