Singapore has set out its third stimulus package as the country’s economy reels from the worldwide spread of COVID-19. Government officials said today (April 6) that the $3.6 billion would include wage subsidies for companies, rental waivers and cash payouts for all Singaporean adults, per reports.
That brings the total stimulus amount pledged by Singapore to $41.7 billion.
On Friday (April 3), Singapore said it was closing schools and most workplaces for a month in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The city-state had previously managed to control the spread of the virus without some of the harsh lockdown measures now in widespread use.
As previously reported, Singapore started using a mobile app, TraceTogether, last month to track exposures to the virus. If a user is diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, the user can let Singaporean health authorities access their app data to map out their whereabouts and determine who else may have been infected.
“Since I delivered my ministerial statement on 26 March, 11 days ago, the pandemic has exploded,” said Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s deputy prime minister and minister for finance. He told the country’s Parliament on Monday (April 6) that Singapore’s previous efforts to control the spread of the virus had “kept the number of infections manageable,” but that the “local transmission has increased, and continues to grow.”
As a result, new, more restrictive steps had to be taken.
At the same time, this meant the government had to step up its efforts to keep the country’s economy afloat with a “solidarity budget.” For one, the budget will “provide direct cash in hand for households, to help tide families through this difficult period.”
Further, a “jobs support scheme” will help businesses as coronavirus restrictions increase. Among other measures in the legislation are property tax rebates and rental waivers.