Wage Credit Scheme: $1.9b to be paid out to firms soon

More than 95,000 employers in Singapore will receive about $1.9 billion in Wage Credit Scheme payouts by the end of this month.

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

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

Compared with last year, about 10,000 more employers will benefit from the Wage Credit Scheme this year.

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

This third tranche of Wage Credit Scheme 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 Thursday.

The Wage Credit Scheme 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.

Danson Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2016, with the headline 'Wage Credit Scheme: $1.9b to be paid out to firms soon'. Print Edition | Subscribe