Singapore

140,000 employers to get over $2.2 billion in JSS payouts from next week

More than 140,000 employers will receive Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) payouts totalling more than $2.2 billion from next Wednesday.

These payouts will support the wages of more than two million local employees, bringing the total amount of JSS support disbursed since the introduction of the scheme at the Unity Budget in February last year to more than $26.7 billion, said the Ministry of Finance and Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore yesterday.

Following the tightening of Covid-19 rules last month, additional support measures totalling $800 million were rolled out, including enhanced wage subsidies under the JSS and rental reliefs.

EXTENDED

Since some tightened measures continue until mid-July, the JSS' enhancements have been extended for affected sectors by three weeks, before being tapered down for another two weeks.

For the round of payouts this month, employers in the aviation, aerospace and tourism sectors will get 50 per cent support for the first $4,600 of gross monthly wages paid in January, February and March this year.

Those in food services, retail, arts and entertainment, land transport, built environment and marine and offshore sectors will get 30 per cent support for wages paid during the same period.

Employers in all other sectors - excluding biomedical sciences, precision engineering, electronics, financial services, information and communications technology, media, postal and courier, online retail and supermarkets and convenience stores - will get 10 per cent support.

DBS Bank senior economist Irvin Seah said the JSS extensions may be enough to offset the direct impact on businesses for now. "But as long as Covid-19 continues to rage on and economic activities cannot fully normalised, especially for hard-hit sectors, it will continue to take the toll on companies, workers and the economy."

CIMB Private Banking economist Song Seng Wun said any further calibrations to the JSS will depend on how far restrictions are eased.

Singapore International Chamber of Commerce chief executive Victor Mills said the Government has extended JSS in a targeted way to support sectors most impacted by the heightened alerts.

"We all hope that no further assistance will be needed. This will depend on getting the vaccination rate up to (around) 70 per cent by the fourth quarter of this year, which is the key to reopening the economy and removing the need for additional targeted support."

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