Forum: Include rental rebates for office tenants in second stimulus package

A view of the CBD in Singapore, on March 12, 2020.
A view of the CBD in Singapore, on March 12, 2020.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Singapore's excellent all-out measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus through efficient and effective contact tracing have won praise from many around the world.

Local experts say deeper wage offsets and foreign worker levy waivers for certain sectors are some business measures that the Government could consider for its planned second stimulus package to counter the fallout from the coronavirus (Deeper wage offsets, foreign worker levy waivers on wish list, March 16). One area that was not mentioned but should be seriously looked at is rental rebates for office tenants.

Presently, only malls, retail outlets and food and beverage outlets are included in the Budget 2020 stimulus package. Shouldn't office and retail tenants in the same mixed building both be entitled to the same rebate?

In such trying times, everyone is affected, in one way or another.

Office rental is a big expenditure item for all companies, and any help would lighten the cash-flow burden and keep a company from having to consider downsizing, unpaid leave or salary-cutting exercises.

I hope the Government will seriously consider including office rental rebates in the coming second stimulus package, as these tenants are also suffering from this economic situation.

Ronnie Poon Beng Choon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2020, with the headline 'Include rental rebates for office tenants in second stimulus package'. Print Edition | Subscribe