Solidarity Budget for Covid-19, Singapore’s third support package, additional assistance for private landlords or developers
The Singapore government has announced a third round of support measures in Parliament on April 6, 2020 to help tide businesses, workers and households mitigate the COVID-19 impact.
The new “Solidarity Budget” follows the Unity Budget announced on Feb 18 and the Resilience Budget of Mar 26, and comes as Singapore closes schools and most workplaces for a month for the “first time in our history” to stem the spread of the virus.
The near-lockdown or “circuit breaker” announced on 3 April (Friday) will last a month from 7 April to 4 May 2020. Workplaces that are exempted from closures include those in key economic sectors and essential services, such as food establishments, markets and supermarkets, healthcare facilities and key banking services.
Known as the Solidarity Budget, this third stimulus package will cost a further S$5.1 billion and will be funded by S$4 billion of past reserves.
The extra stimulus will take the government’s COVID-19 related relief measures to about S$59.9 billion, representing 12% of gross domestic product. The overall budget deficit for FY2020 will increase to S$44.3 billion or 8.9% of the GDP.
Colliers’ comments on Solidarity Budget:
Ms Tricia Song, Head of Research for Singapore at Colliers International, said: “We note that the Solidarity Budget consisted mainly of enhanced measures from those announced earlier, targeted at immediate or short term relief, such as increasing wage credits and waiver of foreign worker levy to help businesses keep workers, and bringing forward and increasing cash handouts to Singaporean households.”
She added: “We note that the Solidarity Budget does not offer additional assistance for private landlords or developers. The Ministry of Law will introduce a Bill on 7 April to let businesses and individuals defer certain contractual obligations such as paying rent, repaying loans or completing work, for a period. The Bill will also ensure that property owners pass on the property tax rebate in full to tenants. We urge landlords to work hand in hand with tenants, and pass on the earlier-announced 30-100% property tax rebates (which could amount to 3-10% of annual rent) to tenants.”
“For property-related measures, the rental waiver for industrial, office and agricultural tenants of Government agencies will be increased from 0.5 months to one month. Stall owners in NEA hawker centres will continue to enjoy three months of rental waivers, while retail tenants will continue to receive two months of rental waivers.”
|Measures||3rd support Budget on 6 April||Supplementary Budget on 26 March||Budget on 18 Feb
|Property tax rebates for qualifying commercial properties including shops and restaurants||100%||15%||Retail malls|
|Property tax rebate for hotels, serviced apartments, tourist attractions, MICE venues||100%||30%||Hospitality|
|Property tax rebate for Integrated Resorts||60%||10%||Integrated Resorts operators|
|Property tax rebate for non-residential properties||30%||None||Industrial, warehouse, office landlords|
|Rental waivers for non-residential tenants of state properties
Such as hawker centres, JTC, SLA, HDB, URA, BCA, NParks, and PA
|+0.5 month for industrial, office and agricultural tenants; rest remained same||0.5 to 3 months||0 to 1 month||Non-residential tenants of government agencies|
|Deferment of income tax payments for companies and self-employed persons||3 months||None||Industry-wide|
|Jobs Support Scheme||75% of monthly wages for every local worker in employment, capped at SGD4,600, for month of April||25% of monthly wages for every local worker in employment, capped at SGD4,600, for 9 months til end-2020||None||Industry-wide|
|Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme for Aviation, Tourism, Food Services, Land Transport, Arts & Culture sector||50- 75% wage offset, capped at monthly wage of SGD4,600, for 9 months til end-2020||None||Industry-wide|
|Foreign worker levy waiver/ rebate||The monthly foreign worker levy due in April will be waived.
As early as Apr 21, employers will also receive a foreign worker levy rebate of SGD750 for each work permit or S pass holder.
|Cash payout and grocery vouchers to households||Additional SGD300 cash payout for every Singaporean adult, and one-off payment of SGD600 by 30 April||SGD300-900||SGD100-300||Industry-wide|
Source: Colliers International, Ministry of Finance
Mr Desmond Sim, CBRE’s Head of Research for Southeast Asia, said: “The Solidarity Budget aims to tide Singapore through its “circuit breaker” measures to be implemented for a month from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020, that will result in schools and most workplaces closing.”
CBRE said that the relevant measures from the Solidarity Budget that may have an impact on Real Estate include:
Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme:
|For the month of April:
||First Jobs Support Scheme payout will be brought forward from May to April|
Further Measures to Erase Labour Costs
Further support for Rental Costs
|Property tax rebate for non-residential properties
Increase rental waiver for industrial, office and argri-cultural tenants of government agencies from 0.5 month to 1 month
Enhanced Self-employed Person Income Relief Scheme
| To include self-employed persons who also earn a small income from employment work
Enhanced Support for Households
||Other cash payouts