Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered 2020 Budget Statement in Parliament.
Mr Heng first touched on the Singapore economy. He lamented that just as the global economy was beginning to recover, the COVID-19 outbreak hit.
Tourism and aviation industries are directly affected, but the outbreak has also disrupted supply chains, creating ripple effects on other sectors.
Following this, the Ministry of Trade and Industry has downgraded GDP forecast to between -0.5% and 1.5%.
Mr Heng says that we must be prepared that the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak may be worse than projected.
He added that the immediate concern is to protect Singaporeans and slow down the spread of COVID-19.
An additional S$800 million will be set aside in this Budget to support frontline agencies to fight the outbreak. The bulk will go to the Ministry of Health.
He went on to thank frontline officers who have been working tirelessly in the fight against the outbreak, adding that they exemplify the resilience and indomitable spirit of Singaporeans. He also urged them to take care of themselves.
He also introduced two special packages for Singaporeans with a total budget of S$5.6 billion:
- Stabilisation and Support Package to stabilise the economy, as well as support workers and enterprises
- Care and Support Package to help households with the cost of living. The less well-off will get more help.