EY leaders praise Singapore government's $48 billion COVID-19 package

02 April 2020 Consultancy.asia 4 min. read

A number of senior leaders from professional services firm Ernst & Young have joined together in unanimous praise of the Singapore government’s latest COVID-19 response package.

Having only barely a month ago offered their response to February’s 2020 Singapore budget, subject experts and leaders of the Big Four including Ernst & Young have returned to share their fresh reactions to the Singapore government’s additional support measures announced last week in response to the COVID-19 outbreak – a widely-praised rescue and stimulus package for businesses, workers and families worth over S$48 billion.

Max Loh, Ernst & Young Managing Partner, Singapore and Brunei:

“Singapore's efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic have been widely lauded. The decisive measures announced in the Resilience Budget provide immediate, direct and significant relief to individuals, families and businesses, providing them with the strong reassurance that we can weather this crisis together as a nation.”

Soh Pui Ming, EY Singapore Head of Tax:

“A very generous and comprehensive help package that zeroes in on the pain points of individuals and businesses during this challenging time. This landmark package not only provides aid but galvanises the population – individuals, businesses, trade associations and chambers – to work together with the government to ride through this economic storm and overcome this crisis.”

Soh Pui Ming, EY Singapore Head of Tax

Desmond Teo, EY Asia-Pacific Growth Markets Financial Services Tax Leader:

“During this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore’s steadfast focus to build the nation’s long-term capabilities for growth through R&D, food resilience, digitalisation and reskilling stands out remarkably amongst the global community.”

Chai Wai Fook, Partner, Tax Services;

“Overall, the Resilient Budget is an extraordinary and thoughtful budget with enhanced measures to lend a helping hand to businesses and save jobs for individuals without taking focus away from building the country’s long-term capabilities, while maintaining cohesiveness in our society and vibrancy in our economy.”

“The Resilient Budget has reiterated the government’s steadfast commitment to help businesses and individuals fight the current crisis with an added boost of targeted support for sectors significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.”

“The economic and tax measures in the Resilient Budget is a shot in the arm for businesses that are struggling to stay afloat during this trying time. It addresses the immediate key concern of businesses to survive this economic storm.”

“The automatic deferment of income tax payments by three months for companies and the self-employed will alleviate their cash flow concerns and help them tide over this difficult period.”

“The aviation and tourism sectors are important pillars of our economy and the air hub is our national pride. The 75% wage offsets and other support packages provide timely financial help to enable these sectors to continue to function and resume making contributions to our economy when the pandemic is over.”

Chai Wai Fook - EY Asean Tax Leader

Samir Bedi, EY Asean Workforce Advisory Leader:

“The additional support provided through the Jobs Support scheme will be welcome by enterprises looking to allay costs and keep workers employed. The message is direct – staying employed is the best form of protecting our workers and their livelihoods. This Resilience Budget should help enterprises and workers to tide through this period of volatility, and also be ready to spring back into shape once the situation stabilises.

“With the additional capacity freed up from the dip in business during this downtime, the extension of the 90% absentee payroll rate to all employers is timely in supporting businesses to invest in and support employees’ development.”

 “The accessibility of the SkillsFuture individual grant from 1 April 2020 will encourage Singaporeans to make use of the downtime to upskill and be more prepared for opportunities when the situation recovers. This will ensure that Singaporeans continue to take improving employability in their own hands.”