Fortitude Budget 2020 – How will it benefit you?

Fortitude Budget 2020

If you’ve only got a minute:

  • SGUnited: 40,000 jobs, 25,000 traineeships, and 30,000 skills training opportunities will be created for Singaporeans.
  • Employers to get incentives for hiring local workers who have completed traineeship.
  • Firms get wage subsidies of up to 75% on first $4,600 of wages for local staff for 10 months instead of 9 months.
  • Covid-19 support grant: Singaporeans and PRs who need help can receive up to $800/month for 3 months.
  • A one-off $100 Solidarity Utilities Credit will help subsidise the utility bills of households with at least 1 Singaporean.
  • More initiatives to help secondary school students and seniors own and use a digital device.

Announced on 26 May 2020, the $33 billion Fortitude Budget builds on the previous 3 rounds of Budget 2020 announced earlier. Unity, Resilience and Solidarity Budgets - to help businesses and individuals adapt and build resilience in the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. With the Fortitude Budget, the COVID-related war chest is boosted to about $93 billion.

Globally, COVID-19 cases are expected to rise further, and the government expects community cases to increase as the circuit breaker eases. Singapore’s GDP growth forecast has also been downgraded to an estimated -7% to -4%, signalling that we might be facing the worst recession ever.

As such, the focus of the Fortitude Budget 2020 is on jobs to help businesses and workers adapt, transform and seize new opportunities to emerge stronger.

Here are some measures that can benefit you.

Job creation

  • SGUnited jobs – an estimated 40,000 jobs are expected to be created by the end of 2020.
  • SGUnited traineeship – 21,000 traineeships will be created for local first-time job seekers. Applications will start on 1 June 2020. 4,000 traineeships will also be available for local mid-career jobseekers to learn new skills and start new careers.
  • SGUnited skills – about 30,000 jobseekers will benefit from upskilling training courses while looking for a job. A training allowance of $1,200 per month for courses lasting between 6 – 12 months will be given out to cover basic expenses. This program will be progressively roll out from July 2020.
  • There will be a hiring incentive given out to companies that hire eligible locals who have gone through the traineeship programme.

Fortitude Budget 2020 – How will it benefit you?

Job Support Scheme enhancement – Helping Singaporeans stay employed

The Job Support Scheme (JSS), which was first introduced at Budget 2020 will be further enhanced by the Fortitude Budget. Under this scheme, businesses will receive wage support for the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid to their local employees.

While it was previously announced that all businesses will receive 75% in wage support (capped at the first $4,600 of wages) to tide through the circuit breaker period of April and May, it will now be extended for 1 more month.

In addition, for businesses that cannot resume operations immediately after the circuit breaker on 1st June 2020, the Government will continue providing wage support at 75% until August 2020, or when they can reopen.

There will also be more wage support for sectors affected by Covid-19:

Fortitude Budget 2020 – How will it benefit you?

Financial aid for individuals

Enhancement to Covid-19 support grant

The Covid-19 Support grant is a scheme to help Singapore Citizens and PRs who are presently unemployed due to retrenchment or contract termination, or presently on involuntary no-pay leave for at least 3 consecutive months. It is also open to those who has experienced reduced monthly salary of at least 30% for at least 3 consecutive months as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19.

With the Fortitude budget, an additional $800m will be set aside for the COVID-19 support grant to support Singaporeans and PRs who need help. Eligible recipients will receive up to $800 per month for 3 months.

Solidarity utilities credit

A one-off $100 Solidarity Utilities Credit will be credited to subsidise the utility bills of households with at least 1 Singaporean.

Fostering digital inclusion

There will be an accelerated timeline for secondary school students to own at least 1 digital device. A new programme called the Seniors Go Digital movement will aim to build digital literacy through one-to-one coaching and small-group learning. Financial support will also be provided for lower-income seniors to own digital devices.

Beyond these, the government has also set aside an additional $13 billion in the Contingencies Funds for public health or fiscal measures to be put in place quickly should the need arise.

Check out the articles in the Budget 2020 series:

Article 1: Budget 2020 – Boosting financial health

Article 2: Fortitude Budget 2020

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