SINGAPORE (Apr 3): Businesses say the government’s $48.4 billion Resilience Budget have been timely and impactful in helping to meet pressing concerns such as wage costs and cash flow issues, according to an online poll of some 380 participants conducted by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) on Thursday.

In particular, 77% of respondents found the Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme to be the most beneficial in this challenging period.

The scheme provides wage offsets of 75% to local employees in the aviation and tourism sector, 50% in the food services industry, and 25% to all other sectors. This is up from the 8% wage subsidy announced in the February Budget.

Aside from this, 34% recorded an appreciation for the three-month deferment of income tax payments as well as the enhanced property tax rebated and rental waivers for government-managed properties.

The responses are in line with business’ key challenges of declining demand, managing wage costs, higher businesses costs and a disruption to supply chains.

“These are exceptional times and the Government has responded with an exceptional Resilience Budget which has not gone unnoticed by our businesses. We are heartened that some of the immediate needs of companies are being met,” says SBF CEO Ho Meng Kit.

So far, nearly half of respondents say it is business as usual for them.

However, some 30% have adopted a reduction in work hours and 20% have been forced to implement no-pay leave for their employees.

To this end, S S Teo Chairman of SBF is encouraging businesses to plan for a better economy once the pandemic tides over. 

“As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to affect our economy and many others around the world…I strongly urge companies to have a longer-term perspective and leverage the measures announced in the Budget to transform their workers and business operations in preparation for the impending recovery.”