Budget 2021: $11b to support three-pronged approach to help Singapore bounce back from Covid-19

The $11 billion will be used to ease the recovery process. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - In a three-pronged approach to enhance Singapore's recovery from the ravages caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Tuesday (Feb 16) that he will set aside $11 billion for a Covid-19 Resilience Package.

"The global economy is projected to recover to pre-Covid-19 levels this year, but the recovery is uneven across countries and sectors," he said.

"The Singapore economy is projected to grow between 4 per cent and 6 per cent, with some sectors growing well, and others remaining under stress."

The $11 billion will be used to ease the recovery process.

Of this, $4.8 billion will go towards safeguarding public health, including providing everyone who is eligible with free vaccination against the virus.

The national vaccination programme and the medicines for those infected will cost $1 billion.

The bulk of the money allocated to public health - $3.1 billion - will be used for testing, clinical management of those who become sick, and contact tracing to identify people who might have become infected, to prevent spread and clusters forming.

Another $5 billion will be used to support workers and businesses, with the lion's share of $2.9 billion going to the Jobs Support Scheme.

Singapore has already committed $25 billion to this scheme, supporting more than 150,000 employers for up to 17 months.

Of the $2.9 billion allocated for the Jobs Support Scheme, $700 million was announced on Tuesday, and $2.2 billion had been promised in August last year.

Said Mr Heng: "As the situation improved, I tapered support for sectors that were recovering well, and extended support to harder-hit sectors."

Similarly, help this year will also be skewed towards sectors that are the hardest hit, such as aviation and tourism.

The third tranche of $1.2 billion will be used to support specific sectors that have been especially badly hit by the fallout from the pandemic.

The aviation sector will receive $870 million. Another $45 million will go towards helping the arts and culture, and sports sectors.

Read next: Highlights of Budget 2021 - From household vouchers to GST on imported low-value goods bought online

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