Stabilisation And Support Package

The $4.0 billion Stabilisation and Support Package was introduced in Budget 2020 to provide assurance and support to workers and enterprises in this time of economic uncertainty. In addition to providing cash flow support, the Package supports firms to retain and retrain workers, and share productivity gains with them. Sectors more directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak will receive additional support.

Economy-wide measures for workers

1) Jobs Support Scheme

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will help enterprises retain their local employees during this period of uncertainty.

Employers will receive an 8% cash grant on the gross monthly wages of each local employee (applicable to Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents only)1 for the months of October 2019 to December 2019, subject to a monthly wage cap of $3,600 per employee.

Employers do not need to apply for the JSS. The grant will be computed based on CPF contribution data. Employers can expect to receive the JSS payment from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) by 31 July 2020.

Table 1: Illustration of Jobs Support Scheme computation

 

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

Total

Wages paid to local employee (excluding employer CPF)
$3,000
$3,500
$4,000
$10,500
Qualifying wage (capped at $3,600)
$3,000
$3,500
$3,600
$10,100
Jobs Support payout to employer (8% of qualifying wage)
$240
$280
$288
$808

2) Enhancement to Wage Credit Scheme

The Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) will be enhanced in Budget 2020. A summary of the changes to WCS is in Table 2 below.

Table 2: Summary of Changes to WCS

Scheme
Existing WCS
as announced in Budget 2018
Enhanced WCS
as announced in Budget 2020
Qualifying years2
  • 2018, 2019, 2020
  • 2019, 2020
Level of co-funding
  • 20% of qualifying wage increases in 2018
  • 15% of qualifying wage increases in 2019
  • 10% of qualifying wage increases in 2020
  • 20% of qualifying wage increases in 2019
  • 15% of qualifying wage increases in 2020
Gross monthly wage ceiling
  • $4,000
  • $5,000
Qualifying wage increases
  • Increases in gross monthly wage of at least $50 given to Singaporean employees in the qualifying year, up to a gross monthly wage level of $4,000, will be co-funded.
  • In addition, increases in gross monthly wage of at least $50 given in 2017, 2018 and 2019 up to a gross monthly wage level of $4,000, and sustained in subsequent years of the scheme, will be co-funded.
  • Increases in gross monthly wage of at least $50 given to Singaporean employees in the qualifying year, up to a gross monthly wage level of $5,000, will be co-funded.
  • In addition, increases in gross monthly wage of at least $50 given in 2017, 2018 and 2019 up to a gross monthly wage level of $5,000, and sustained in subsequent years of the scheme, will be co-funded.

Employers do not need to apply for WCS.

  1. Employers will receive payouts automatically in the month of March after the qualifying year (Y+1), for qualifying wage increases given to their employees in the qualifying year (Y). This is the existing process.
  2. Employers who benefit from additional wage credit arising from the Budget 2020 enhancements will receive a separate supplementary payout in the second half of 2020. Letters will be sent to all qualifying employers to inform them of the supplementary payout.

Economy-wide measures to help businesses with cash flow

1) Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Rebate

To help companies with cash flow, a CIT Rebate of 25% of tax payable, capped at $15,000, will be granted for Year of Assessment (YA) 2020.

2) Enhancements of Tax Treatments under the Corporate Tax System

These tax treatments will be enhanced under the corporate tax system for one year.

  1. Companies paying their CIT by GIRO can automatically enjoy an additional two months of interest-free instalments, when they file their Estimated Chargeable Income (ECI) within three months from their Financial Year End3. This automatic extension of instalment plan by two more months will apply to:
    1. Companies that file their ECI from 19 February 2020 to 31 December 2020;
    2. Companies that file their ECI before 19 February 2020, and have ongoing instalment payments to be made in March 2020.
  2. Allow  up to $100,000 of the unabsorbed capital allowances and trade losses for YA2020 to be carried back up to three immediate preceding YAs, instead of one preceding YA;
  3. Provide an option to accelerate the write-off of the cost of acquiring plant and machinery in financial year 2020 (i.e. incurred for YA2021) over two years; and
  4. Provide an option to accelerate the deduction of expenses incurred on renovation and refurbishment in financial year 2020 (i.e. incurred for YA2021) in one year.

3) Enhancements to Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan

The Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan (EFS-WCL), which is available to SMEs across all industries, will be enhanced for one year to help SMEs with their working capital needs. The Government will raise the maximum loan quantum from $300,000 to $600,000, and enhance the Government’s risk-share to up to 80% (from the current 50% to 70%) for SMEs borrowing from Participating Financial Institutions under the scheme.

The Enhanced EFS-WCL will start in March 2020, and is available for one year till March 2021. Interested enterprises can apply directly to the Participating Financial Institutions.

Sector-specific support

In addition to the economy-wide measures to help workers and businesses, sectors directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak will get additional support.

1) Enhancement to Adapt and Grow Initiative

WSG will enhance support under the Adapt and Grow initiative for more directly impacted sectors, such as hotel, retail, food services, tourism, and air transport. As a start, funding support duration for the following existing redeployment programmes4 will be extended from the current three months to a maximum of six months:

  1. Job Redesign Place-and-Train (PnT) Programme for Hotel Industry
  2. Job Redesign PnT Programme for Retail

In addition, WSG will introduce the following new programmes to support redeployment:

  1. Job Redesign PnT Programme for Food Services Industry
  2. Digital Marketing PnT Programme
  3. Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE), Attractions and Tour and Travel
  4. PCP for Digital Operations Talents for the Furniture Industry
  5. PnT Programme for Air Transport Coordinators

The enhanced support will be time-limited.

2) Property Tax Rebate for Qualifying Commercial Properties

Qualifying commercial properties will be granted a rebate for Property Tax (PT) payable for the period 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.

PT payable for
PT Rebate Rate
Accommodation and function room components of hotel5 buildings
30%
Accommodation and function room components of serviced apartment buildings
Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) space components of 3 prescribed MICE venues, as follows:
  • Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre
  • Singapore EXPO
  • Changi Exhibition Centre
Other qualifying commercial properties. Some examples are:
  • Premises of an international airport;
  • Premises of a prescribed international cruise or regional ferry terminal, namely Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Singapore Cruise Centre, and Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal;
  • Shops (e.g. retail and F&B), including those within hotel buildings, serviced apartment buildings, and the prescribed MICE venues; and
  • Premises of tourist attractions.
15%
  • Marina Bay Sands
  • Resorts World Sentosa

The above 30% and 15% PT Rebates do not apply to Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. 

10%
The above 30%, 15%, and 10% PT Rebates do not apply to any premises or a part of any premises used for a residential, industrial or agricultural purpose, or as an office, a business or science park, or a petrol station.

IRAS will provide further details on its website by end February 2020.

3) Temporary Bridging Loan Programme for Tourism Sector Enterprises

A new Temporary Bridging Loan Programme (TBLP) will be introduced to provide additional cash flow support for tourism sector enterprises. Under the TBLP, eligible enterprises can borrow up to $1 million, with the interest rate capped at 5% p.a., from Participating Financial Institutions. The Government will provide 80% risk-share on these loans.

The TBLP will start in March 2020, and is available for one year till March 2021. Interested enterprises can apply directly to the Participating Financial Institutions.

Tourism sector enterprises6 are defined as:

  1. Licensed hotel operators;
  2. Attraction operators;
  3. Licensed travel agents;
  4. Cruise terminal operators and service providers with core business in Cruise;
  5. Venue operators, event organisers and suppliers with core business in Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE); and
  6. Tour bus operators and river boat operators.

4) Aviation Sector Measures

The Aviation Sector Assistance Package, co-funded by the Government, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Changi Airport Group (CAG), aims to help defray business costs and protect jobs, as well as safeguard Changi’s air connectivity. The assistance will be provided for a 6-month period. The package will provide immediate relief to affected companies during the COVID-19 outbreak period.

  1. Airlines

    Airlines operating flights between mainland China and Singapore have been most adversely affected thus far by the COVID-19 outbreak. The following assistance will be provided to them:

    • All airlines that had operated scheduled passenger flights between mainland China and Singapore before the COVID-19 outbreak will receive landing credits.
    • In addition, those that continue to operate scheduled passenger flights between mainland China and Singapore during the COVID-19 outbreak period will receive 100% Landing Charge Rebates for these flights.

    Further support will also be provided to defray airlines’ other operating costs:

    • 100% Parking Charge Rebate for all scheduled passenger flights;
    • 10% Landing Charge Rebate for all scheduled passenger flights to Singapore from points in Southeast Asia;
    • 50% Rebate on CAAS’s regulatory fees for new and renewed Certificates of Airworthiness paid by Singapore carriers flying scheduled flights in FY2019; and
    • 6-month waiver of the planned 1% annual increase in Landing, Parking, and Aerobridge (LPA) Charges for all flights, which had been previously announced on 28 February 2018 and is scheduled to take effect from 1 April 2020.
  2. Cargo Industry

    Freighter airlines and cargo agents impacted by the disruption in supply chains will receive the following assistance:

    • 10% Landing Charge Rebate for all scheduled freighter flights;
    • 10% Rental Rebate for cargo agents tenanted in Changi Airfreight Centre; and
    • 6-month waiver of the planned 1% annual increase in LPA Charges scheduled to take effect from 1 April 2020.
  3. Other Airport Stakeholders

    Ground handling agents and retail/F&B tenants at the airport are also affected by the decline in traffic. They will receive assistance, such as rental rebates.

5) 50% Port Dues Concession

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will be giving 50% port dues concession to cruise ships and regional ferries with a port stay of not more than five days, and passenger-carrying harbour craft. This will be on top of any existing concessions7. This measure will be implemented from 1 March 2020 to 31 August 2020.

6) Rental Waivers for Commercial Tenants in Government-owned / managed facilities

To support hawkers, NEA will provide one month’s worth of rental waivers to stall holders of NEA-managed hawker centres and markets, with a minimum waiver of $200.

To help alleviate costs for businesses located in other Government-owned / managed facilities, Government agencies such as HDB, PA, SLA, NParks, JTC, URA, STB and SDC will provide half a month’s worth of rental waivers to eligible commercial tenants/lessees who are on leases not exceeding three years, and do not pay Property Tax. Eligible tenants/lessees may include those providing commercial accommodation, retail, F&B, recreation, entertainment, healthcare and other services.

The rental waivers do not apply to any premises or a part of any premises used for a residential, industrial or agricultural purpose, or as an office, a business or science park, or a petrol station.

Contact Details

For enquiries on specific schemes, please find contact details below.

Scheme
Contact Details
Jobs Support Scheme
Hotline:  1800-352-4728
Wage Credit Scheme
Website: https://www.iras.gov.sg/irasHome/wcs.aspx
Email: wcs@iras.gov.sg
Hotline: 1800-352-4727
Enterprise Financing Scheme – SME Working Capital Loan
Adapt and Grow
Temporary Bridging Loan Programme for Tourism Sector Enterprises
Email Enterprise Singapore: enquiry@enterprisesg.gov.sg
Email Singapore Tourism Board:  STB_Incentives@stb.gov.sg
Port Dues Concession


1Wages paid to business owners will not be eligible for the grant.
2E.g. An employer qualifies for WCS in 2019 (i.e. 2019 is considered a qualifying year) if (i) the employer paid the employee CPF contributions for at least 3 months in 2019, (ii) the employee received CPF contributions for at least 3 months in 2018, and (iii) the employee has a qualifying wage increase in 2019.
3Companies have to e-File by 26th of the month in order to enjoy the maximum number of instalments allowable for that month.
4Professional Conversion Programmes (PCPs) are targeted at Professionals, Managers, Executives and Technicians (PMETs), while the Place-and-Train programmes are targeted at rank-and-file workers. The programmes include redeployments which support the existing workers who are vulnerable or at risk of redundancy, to undergo reskilling and take on new or redesigned job roles within the same company.
5A hotel licensed under the Hotels Act.
6STB and Enterprise Singapore are prepared to extend support, on a case-by-case basis, to Food & Beverage (F&B) and Retail enterprises which form a contiguous part of a hotel, attraction, MICE venue or cruise terminal, and which rely on visitors to the tourism venue as a major source of revenue.
7Existing concessions include port dues concession for vessels under the Maritime Singapore Green Initiative, and 20% port dues concession given to qualifying passenger cruise ships (i.e. ships that make 6 calls within 6 months).