COVID-19: Heng Swee Keat to announce more help for businesses, individuals on 26 May

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Heng Swee Keat presenting Budget 2020 in Parliament, 18 Feb. (Source: Screen shot from MOF video)
Heng Swee Keat presenting Budget 2020 in Parliament. (Source: Screen shot from MOF video)

SINGAPORE — Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat will be delivering a ministerial statement next Tuesday (26 May) on the Singapore government’s plans to help businesses and individuals “adapt and build resilience” amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a media release by Ministry of Finance on Tuesday (19 May), the statement will be delivered in the next Parliament sitting, at 3.30pm on 26 May.

Heng, who is also the Minister for Finance, also put up a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday, saying that the ministerial statement will announce details on helping workers and businesses over continued closure after Singapore is set to exit the COVID-19 circuit breaker period on 1 June in three gradual phases.

“We are preparing to re-open some of our economic and social activities. But learning from the experience of other countries, this has to be done cautiously and gradually. If we re-open too quickly, we risk new waves of infection, which could be even more disruptive to lives and livelihoods,” Heng wrote in his Facebook post.

“I understand the disappointment of some businesses and workers who will not be able to resume activities immediately when the circuit breaker ends. For these workers and businesses, the government will help tide you over this period of continued closure. I will announce the details in Parliament next Tuesday, 26 May.”

The full ministerial statement will be published on the Singapore Budget website after Heng’s speech in Parliament. There will also be live television and radio coverage.

Support measures over 3 Budget announcements

Singapore had already announced support measures to help tide businesses, workers and households through the COVID-19 outbreak three times this year: in the Unity Budget in February, Resilience Budget in March and Solidarity Budget in April.

Heng has urged Singaporeans to adjust lifestyles and adapt business models amid the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“Medical experts have cautioned that this smart and agile virus will continue to be in our midst and in global circulation for some time to come. This is why all of us in Singapore and in the global community must not let our guard down. Some of the safe distancing measures will be here to stay,” he said in his Facebook post.

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