Wage subsidies under the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) will be extended for the worst-hit sectors in Singapore’s economy during the pandemic. Meanwhile, the current tranche of payments will continue to cover wages up to March 2021, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday (Feb 16).
First introduced in the Budget 2020 statement, the JSS has subsidised between 25 and 75 percent of wages for firms. With this fourth extension, the Government is committing another S$700 million.
Mr Heng noted that the slew of Budget measures announced last year helped prevent “deep economic scarring and permanent impairing” of Singapore’s economy. In particular, the JSS was meant to protect jobs and help firms retain local workers, Channel News Asia reports.
However, he added, despite the economy is recovering, some sectors remain under pressure, so the Government will “tailor support to maintain resilience and support growing areas”.
For starters, firms included in Tier 1 sectors – aviation, aerospace and tourism – will get a six-month extension for the JSS. These firms will get 30 percent support for wages paid from April to June this year, and 10 percent support for wages paid from July to September.
Firms in Tier 2 sectors – such as retail, food services, arts and culture, and marine and offshore – will get wage support of 10 percent for three more months, covering wages paid up to June.
But there will be no changes for firms in Tier 3A sectors, which are generally recovering, said Mr Heng. The JSS will cover 10 percent of wages up to March for firms in these sectors, as previously announced.
Applications opened on Jan 18 this year and as of Feb 15, more than 5,000 applications have been approved, said Mr Heng.