Forum: Make firms that don't need wage subsidy payouts return them

The Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) subsidises wages for all employers who have made contributions to the Central Provident Fund for local staff (Jobs Support Scheme payouts: 7 things to know, April 18).

As a consequence, payouts have been given to companies that are either unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic, or are earning bigger profits during this period.

While it is heartening to hear of some corporations returning the JSS payouts and declining future ones (DPM Heng heartened by firms that return, donate wage subsidy payouts, May 11), they do so entirely out of their goodwill.

There are surely many more among the over 140,000 employers receiving the payouts that are not in need of them but are nevertheless keeping this windfall.

The JSS payouts are drawn from our precious national reserves and I am sure Singaporeans would want to see them going only to companies that need them.

I hope the Government can create a retrospective mechanism to make companies that are unaffected by or doing better during the current crisis return their JSS payouts.

The money can then be channelled by the Government to other worthy needs.

Even if this amount were to be returned to the national coffers, it would still lessen the need to raise taxes in the future to replace the drawn funds.

Carl Tay