SINGAPORE (May 26): The Singapore government will be setting aside a further $800 million towards the Covid-19 Support Grant, says Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament, on Tuesday.

The additional sum will help provide additional support to Singaporean families.

The Covid-19 Support Grant will also cover Singaporeans who have lost jobs, taken no-pay leave, or have had their salaries “significantly reduced”.

In the same statement, over 100,000 self-employed persons will receive their first payout of $3,000 this week through the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS).

Each household with at least one Singaporean citizen will also receive a one-off $100 Solidarity Utilities Credit. This applies to all property types, and will be credited in the utilities bills in July or August.

Digital initiatives

Due to the circuit breaker measures, students have had to embark on a home-based learning programme. To support students from lower-income families, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will accelerate for all secondary school students to own a digital learning device.

In the same vein, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will launch a Seniors Go Digital movement to adopt digital channels and equip seniors with digital skills.

Financial support will be provided to seniors who cannot afford to go digital.

Aid for charities and social service agencies

The government will partner with the Tote Board to enhance matching donations to enhance the Board’s fundraising programmes.

The government will provide dollar-for-dollar match in donations raised in FY2020 to eligible charities with a cap of $250,000 per charity. These donations are to be raised through proper digital platforms.

To that end, the government will provide a $100 million top-up in addition to the existing $70 million budget for the Enhanced Fund-Raising Programme, as well as an $18 million top-up to the Invictus Fund to enhance support for social service agencies.

Rebates for households

As mentioned in previous budgets, mid- and lower-income families, as well as parents with young Singaporean children will receive their remaining $300 or $600 in June.

During the Unity Budget in April, Heng, who is also the Finance Minister, said that the government would double the amount of U-Save rebates in the form of a GST voucher for all eligible HDB households, to help with their utility bills. Households with five or more members will receive up to $1,000 in U-Save rebates this year.

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