In order to safeguard and weather the impact of China’s coronavirus from ravaging Singapore’s economy and help contain the outbreak in the country, Singapore announced financial packages worth around $4.5 billion on Tuesday.
While delivering the budget speech, Singapore’s Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat stated, he has postponed a planned hike in the goods and services tax regime given the current state of the economy, which incidentally registered its lowest growth in a decade in 2019.
This comes in the wake of Singapore trimming its 2020 growth forecasts due to an expected economic impact from China’s coronavirus and flagged the chance of a recession this year.
“Just as the global economy was beginning to recover, the coronavirus…outbreak hit us,” said Heng while adding “The outbreak will certainly impact our economy…Our first concern is to protect you and your families.”
The provisions include a $575 (S$800 million) package to fight and contain the disease, mainly through additional healthcare funding along with a $4 billion (S$5.6 billion) package to help manage its impact on businesses and jobs.
The economic packages include support for businesses to manage corporate income tax rebates, wage bills, and specific schemes to help firms in the hard-hit tourism and aviation sectors.
As of date, Singapore has has reported 77 cases of the coronavirus, one of the highest tallies outside China where it has claimed more than 1,800 lives.