AttractionsSingapore proposes US$2.88 billion monetary support to stabilise ripple effects on economy following COVID-19 outbreak

Budget 2020: Help for Singapore’s travel trade

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Against a backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore’s Government on Feb 18 proposed a stabilisation and support package worth US$2.88 billion to help businesses manage economic uncertainties in the short-term.
Against a backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore’s Government on Feb 18 proposed a stabilisation and support package worth US$2.88 billion to help businesses manage economic uncertainties in the short-term. Photo Credit: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Against a backdrop of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Singapore’s Government on Feb 18 proposed a stabilisation and support package worth US$2.88 billion to help businesses manage economic uncertainties in the short-term.

In Budget 2020, key announcements included funds set aside to support frontline agencies fighting to manage the outbreak, to enterprises and their local workers, temporarily pushing back a previously planned GST hike, and lump sums to tide citizens over this period.

The announcement was delivered during a Budget speech at Parliament by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat, who said “just as the global economy was beginning to recover”, the COVID-19 outbreak “hit us”.

Singapore had recorded a “modest” economic growth of 0.7% in 2019 – the weakest following 2008’s financial crisis.

In Budget 2020, key announcements included funds set aside to support frontline agencies fighting to manage the outbreak, to enterprises and their local workers, temporarily pushing back a previously planned GST hike, and lump sums to tide citizens over this period.

Also, additional support will be accorded to sectors affected directly by the viral outbreak, including aviation and tourism.

For instance, Changi Airport will receive rebates on charges levied on aircraft landing and parking, as well as a 15% property tax rebate. Shops, cargo agents and ground-handling agents are also included in the rebate plans.

To “help enterprises with cash flow”, all tax-paying companies can expect corporate income tax rebates of 25% of tax payable, capped at S$15,000 per company for year of assessment 2020.

Hotels can expect to receive a 30% rebate on property tax over their function room, accommodation, MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) venues, as well as serviced apartment components.

Over on the waters, both regional and international cruise and ferry terminals will receive 15% rebates, while integrated resorts will receive 10%.

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