$1.9bn wage payouts to employers by end March, with more firms benefiting this year

Over 95,000 employers will receive about $1.9 billion in Wage Credit Scheme payouts by the end of March.
Over 95,000 employers will receive about $1.9 billion in Wage Credit Scheme payouts by the end of March. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Over 95,000 employers in Singapore will receive about $1.9 billion in Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) payouts by the end of March.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive around 70 per cent of the sum disbursed, said the Ministry of Finance and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) in a press statement on Friday.

The statement comes after Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the 2016 Budget in Parliament on Thursday.

Compared to 2015, about 10,000 more employers will be benefiting from WCS this year.

A total of $2.2 billion will be allocated this year for special transfers to businesses, such as the Wage Credit Scheme and the Productivity and Innovation Credit scheme.

This third tranche of WCS payouts co-funds 40 per cent of the wage increases given in the last three years to more than 730,000 Singaporean employees who earned a gross monthly wage of $4,000 and below.

Eligible employers will receive letters from Iras by March 31.

The WCS was introduced in 2013 as part of the Transition Support Package. It is intended to help businesses cope with rising wage costs so that they can free up resources to invest in productivity, and share their productivity gains with their employees.