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Singapore government allocated S$1.5 billion to support families and businesses amid rising prices

A S$1.5 billion support package was unveiled Tuesday (June 21) to help businesses and households in Singapore cope with looming economic challenges caused by rising global inflation.

Here are some of the key measures:

For private individuals

1. GST Voucher Special Payout.

For GSTV-Cash recipients, an additional payment of up to S$300 will be made in August. About 1.5 million Singaporeans will receive it.

2. Household Utility Credit.

By September, every Singaporean family will receive S$100 to offset utility bills.

3. Improved ComCare circuitry.

Improvements will be made to the ComCare Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance (SMTA) and Long-Term Assistance (LTA) programs.

A one-person family receiving ComCare LTA will receive a higher cash assistance rate of S$640 per month, which is S$40 more than the current rate of S$600. Families with more members will receive more.

Those who apply for ComCare SMTA or apply to renew an existing SMTA can also expect higher cash assistance and support for utility costs.

4. Increase in Singapore allowance and monthly pension ceiling.

The Singapore allowance and monthly pension ceiling for retirees receiving lower pensions will be increased by S$30, to S$350 and S$1,280, respectively.

For companies

1. Energy Efficiency Grant.

Local small and medium-sized food service, food production and retail businesses will be given up to 70 percent support to implement energy-efficient equipment in pre-approved categories.

The grant will help such businesses improve energy efficiency and reduce rising business costs due to rising energy prices.

2. Increasing the amount of credit for Enterprise Financing Schemes - Trade Credit.

From July 1 this year through March 31, 2023, the maximum loan amount will increase to S$10 million per borrower from S$5 million previously.

3. Increasing the loan amount for Enterprise Financing Schemes - SME Working Capital Loan.

From Oct. 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023, the maximum loan amount will be increased to $500,000 per borrower.

4. abolishing the foreign worker tax for chicken slaughterhouses for one month.

Singapore's 11 chicken slaughterhouses will be granted a one-month allowance for foreign workers. This will help preserve the industry's potential in the conditions of the export ban.

For employees

Progressive payroll credit scheme.

This year, state co-funding for matching wage increases will be increased to help low-wage workers.

Co-funding will increase from 50% to 75% for salaries up to S$2,500, and from 30% to 45% for salaries above S$2,500 and up to S$3,000.

For self-employed drivers

1. One-time benefit for eligible cab drivers and private car drivers.

In August, there will be a one-time benefit of S$150 for cab drivers and private car drivers.

2. Benefit Scheme.

The NTUC U FSE Relief Scheme will provide one-time cash assistance of up to S$300 for bus, limousine and delivery drivers.

Ongoing world events and continued COVID-19 restrictions in some parts of the world have disrupted supply chains and driven up energy and food prices, according to a Treasury Department (MOF) press release.

Core inflation in Singapore accelerated to an annualized 3.3% in April from a previous 10-year high of 2.9% in March.

Energy and food prices have risen sharply, and it is likely that global inflation will remain high for some time and even increase further before stabilizing and getting better, Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong said at a news conference Tuesday.

"The inflationary situation will eventually stabilize both globally and in Singapore, but for now we should expect price increases to continue in the coming months," Mr. Wong said.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Wong said that Singapore faces these challenges from a "position of strength.

"We started act earlier than most central banks when it comes to fighting inflation and monetary policy, and we have the fiscal resources to help Singaporeans survive price increases as well as any potential crisis that may arise later," said the Deputy Prime Minister.