Singapore Stabilisation and Support Package II : Wishlist for the individual



It's time to break the piggy bank

Piggy Bank's are meant to be savings stash away for rainy days. From our perspective, it has started raining cats and dogs and the rain would not stop.

Tomorrow, there will be a second Stabilisation Package tomorrow.

With the slew of strict measures announced yesterday, several sectors are hit with closure from March 27 to Apr 30. Along with these closures comes the loss of income and possible layoff. This is made worse with the slowdown the nation had experienced since the onset of COVID-19. These include international trades, tourism sector, airlines as well as a slowdown in the local business.



The Stabilisation Package will include measures to help these businesses hard hit by the sector. There are expectations of measures that will directly help the individual. With the layoff, pay reductions, compulsory leave, many employees are impacted. For the self-employed, freelancers and gig economy workers, they are hit even harder as they do not have anyone to fall back on. Being part of the latter group, the details of the package is of interest to us.

The last Care and Support package during the budget cost 1.6 billion. It includes Cash payouts, Workfare Special Payout, Grocery Voucher, GST Voucher-U Save, Service and Conservancy Charges Rebates and additional skill futures credits. For this time around, we hope it will be multiples of the original package and will cover more immediate needs.

This is our wishlist
1 One-off cash injection for all
This should not be base on income or place of residence. Almost every Singapore is hit financially in one way or another by COVID-19.

2 Additional cash incentive over a period of 6 months for those that are retrenched, self-employed and gig economy.
The hardest-hit group should be provided with an additional cash incentive for support. It could be a lump sum for a period of 6 months comprising of cash and grocery vouchers

3 Suspension of Mortage payment for 6 months
This is a suspension, not a cancellation, to help tide over this uncertain period. As housing loan makes up the bulk of family expenses, a suspension would help during this time.

The payment period should be extended by the same time period rather than spread it over the remaining term. The latter would increase the monthly payment thereafter and may not be ideal given that recovery of the economy would take time due to the magnitude of this crisis.

4 Suspension of income tax payment for 6 months with a CAP at $500 and/or a tax break of $2000 per taxpayer

5 Redeployment opportunities open to ALL Singapore Citizens and PR. 
Currently, some redeployment opportunities are available to Taxi Drivers.  Considering that unemployment would increase as a result of COVID-19, these opportunities should be made available to all. A Public job bank should be made available. Employment should also be fast track to get the people to start work as soon as possible.

Along with these, other measures could also be considered. This include reduction of CPF contribution by employees and employers to lessen the cost of hire, removal or reduction of FDW levy, sponsor employees training and partial salary.

Regardless of the measures, this black swan event calls for a bazooka response. If there was ever a time needed to dip into the Nation's reserve, it would be now.

Let's wait and see...










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