Fortitude Budget

Levy waiver extended for some firms

All businesses in the construction, marine and offshore, and process sectors are included. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Businesses that are not allowed to resume operations on-site immediately after the circuit breaker ends on June 1 will have their foreign worker levy waived for up to two more months.

Levy rebates for them will also be extended for up to two more months, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat told Parliament yesterday.

This is part of a fourth round of budget measures to help firms manage costs amid the pandemic, and will include all businesses in the construction, marine and offshore, and process sectors.

The waiver will be 100 per cent in June, and 50 per cent in July, while the rebate will be $750 in June, and $375 in July.

Mr Heng first announced in his Solidarity Budget speech in April that the foreign worker levy due that month would be waived, and firms would receive a rebate of $750 that month for each work permit or S Pass holder, from levies paid this year. After the circuit breaker was extended for another four weeks, requiring most workplaces to close, the waiver and rebate were extended by a month.

Mr Heng highlighted the built environment sector, which includes construction, as one that needs additional support. It has many significant infrastructure projects, including MRT lines and public housing, that must continue to be planned and built, he said. The Government will co-share the additional costs that businesses will incur to meet extra requirements in order to resume their existing projects safely, he added.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong and the Building and Construction Authority will announce the details later, said Mr Heng.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2020, with the headline Levy waiver extended for some firms. Subscribe