Two points on Singapore’s supplementary COVID-19 Budget

Two points on Singapore’s supplementary COVID-19 Budget announced today for workers:

(1) Unemployment Grant: It was announced that unemployed low- and middle-income workers from households with not more than a per capita household income of S$3,100 a month can apply for a grant of S$800 a month for 3 months.…/covid19-coronavirus-budge…

The average resident household size in Singapore in 2019 was 3.16 persons per household. A per capita household income of S$3,100 would mean total household income of S$9,300. In 2019, there were 62.5% of households with household incomes of less than S$9,000 including CPF contributions, which means that there could be about 60% or so of households which could apply for the monthly S$800 grant for 3 months.…/…/publications-and-methodology

Assuming a household income of S$9,000 with each working parent earning an average of S$4,500, the S$800 would only represent 17% of his/her salary, and this is including CPF contributions – S$4,500 is about where the reported median wage of full-time residents in Singapore is, including CPF contributions. S$800 would make up about two-thirds the salary of a outsourced resident cleaner earning the lowest wage of S$1,200.…/progressive-wage-model/what-is-pwm

The unemployment grant needs to be increased. A study by several academics in Singapore showed that the budget required to have a basic standard of living is S$1,379 for elderly aged 65 and above living in single households, and S$1,721 for elderly aged 55 to 64 living in single households. This would be a higher amount for younger age groups. S$800 is only about 45% to 60% of the basic budget required. It is not enough. The unemployment grant will also not be available for people currently on public assistance (ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance (SMTA) or ComCare Interim Assistance).…/study-finds-1379-a-month-nee…

S$145 million is being set aside for this scheme (in addition to the ComCare scheme and Temporary Relief Fund). Assuming the S$145 million is set aside for the payment of all the unemployment grants, increasing it to S$1,700 will only require a total of S$308 million, or only S$163 million more, and this will provide adequate coverage for people who become unemployed. People on public assistance should also receive higher amounts.…/supplementary-budget-s…

(2) Wage Subsidies: It was also announced that the government will co-fund 25% of the wages of local workers under the Jobs Support Scheme, with firms in the food services sector receiving a co-fund of 50% of wages, and firms in the aviation and tourism sectors with a co-fund 75% of wages.…/covid19-coronavirus-budge…

In Denmark which has a similar GDP per capita as Singapore, the government will cover 75% of the wages of all workers.

$15.1 billion will be allocated to support more than 1.9 million local employees in Singapore under this Jobs Support Scheme. If this is increased to S$30 billion, it will take up about another 6% of GDP. The current total budget of S$55 billion makes up 11% of GDP. It is an important conversation on whether higher wage subsidies are necessary to protect the jobs and wages of workers in Singapore.…/supplementary-budget-s…



Roy Ngerng






6 Responses to “Two points on Singapore’s supplementary COVID-19 Budget”

  • uselessgov:

    800 per month, where n when to start applying ?

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Whatever funding, whatever grant are only temporary. We need to pay back, 3 or 10 times that amount. It is also a good excuse for PAP to increase GST “to help the poor”.

    The most important thing to do now is to contain the virus. The sooner we stop the virus, the sooner lives get back to normal. (i.e. we can sit closer in hawker centers, we can talk inside MRT, we don’t need to worry about the next person having any Covid-19)

    But the only thing that’s of concern to the PAP is General Election.

    Provide help budgets are only to make people happy for the time being and to buy votes.

    The reasons for the GE, in accordance to PM, were he needs a strong team. I am not sure if he was saying the current team is not strong enough.

    Also he needs a longer runway. Other countries took about 4 to 8 weeks to contain the virus and celebrating the victory now. He is asking for a year or more.

    He wanted a new mandate too. If one more year is not enough. Then no amount of mandate is enough for his team to contain this virus, which others took only a few months.

    PAP, please be reminded that you people are paid this galaxy’s highest salary, even with the 3 months cut!!

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  • uselessgov:

    <blockhead, how to stop when the gates are all OPEN TO IMPORTS N TOURIST N GOD KNOWS WHAT ELSE ??

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  • Nk:

    A group of Corona’s will definitely be very strong.

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  • Much worse, they all tell lies:

    we are unemployed.

    there are 4 of us. 4 x S$800 = S$3,200 pm.

    we will apply for the money.

    after all, it is sheep CPF money.

    we shall use it to donate half to WP Aljunied TC case. the other half we buy beer to celebrate pap demise after GE2020.

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  • oxygen:

    SGX MARKET LAOSAI (diarrhea) this morning – index fell more than 4% as I write, HSK’s “FUZZY LOGIC” $48 BILLION SUPPLEMENTARY BUDGET is lost of investors’ confidence.

    This morning MAS (SURPRISED) announced easing of its monetary policy via exchange rate management.


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