SINGAPORE, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Monday announced the third set of support measures in a new budget, called the Solidarity Budget, to further support Singaporeans and businesses amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The primary aim of this Solidarity Budget is to take further steps to save jobs and protect the livelihoods of Singaporean people during the temporary period of heightened measures that would begin on Tuesday, said Heng.
"We will also help businesses preserve their capacity and capabilities, to resume activities when the circuit breaker is lifted," he said.
The heightened measures and the circuit breaker both refer to the stricter distancing measures released by Singaporean government last Friday. These measures, including the closing of most workplaces except for essential services, will start from Tuesday and last for four weeks.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the new budget will involve measures that support businesses to retain their workers and to stay viable, and measures that provide timely support for households.
These measures will cost 5.1 billion Singapore dollars (about 3.57 U.S. dollars), with four billion Singapore dollars for the additional support for businesses and workers, and 1.1 billion Singapore dollars for the Solidarity Payment which is an one-off payment of 600 Singapore dollars in cash for each adult Singaporean.
Heng announced the first and second budget of Singaporean government this year respectively in February and March.
"Taken together, the government's response to COVID-19 will total 59.9 billion Singapore dollars, or about 12 percent of GDP," he said. "The Overall Budget Deficit for the Financial Year 2020 will increase to 44.3 billion Singapore dollars or 8.9 percent of GDP."