More than 74,000 employers will receive about $800 million by March 31, in the first tranche of a government scheme that subsidises pay rises for low- to middle-income Singaporeans. Small and medium enterprises will get about three-quarters of this sum, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Wage Credit Scheme was introduced in 2013, as part of a three-year package to help firms cope with wage costs as they restructure. It co-funds 40 per cent of pay rises given to Singaporeans who earn a gross monthly wage of up to $4,000.
Of the Singaporeans eligible for the scheme, two-thirds received pay rises last year, which this first tranche of Wage Credit Scheme payouts is helping to fund.
Lower-income Singaporeans - those in the bottom fifth - received a larger median pay rise of 10 per cent, compared to 8 per cent for all employees under this scheme.
Qualifying employers will receive a letter from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) by March 31, informing them of the total payout. They can also check their eligibility on the Iras website from March 21.
The payout will either be credited directly to their Giro bank account used for income tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST) purposes, or paid by cheque. Appeals regarding this first tranche of payouts must be submitted to Iras by June 30, and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Those who are successful in their appeals will be paid from June onwards.
For further information and help regarding the scheme, the public can visit the Iras website or contact Iras on 1800-352-4727 or firstname.lastname@example.org