Finance Minister Mark Brown is to announce a comprehensive Covid-19 economic response package this afternoon, which he says will prioritise people.
It comes after tourism and business leaders pleaded yesterday for certainty around a stimulus package, which they say should provide payroll subsidies to avoid mass redundancies.
“It is not lost on me, the Prime Minister and Cabinet the anxiety and uncertainty our people and businesses are feeling right now. That we are all feeling,” Mark Brown said late last night.
"The economic response package … has had input from across our communities and prioritises our people – supporting our most vulnerable, protecting livelihoods and supporting business continuity through what will likely be the greatest health and economic challenge of our times.”
Chamber of Commerce president Fletcher Melvin said their proposal to government sought payroll subsidies for the 2000-person public sector and 5000-worker private sector.
It sought tax breaks such as 100 per cent deprecation to enable businesses to bring forward and continue to finance capital works, during the shutdown.
He questioned government’s promise to protect all public servants fulltime hours; he said this was not sustainable and workers right across the country would need to cut back their hours.
At his company, Island Craft, they’d had tough conversations with workers and cut their hours by 30 per cent. And he said other employers needed to do the same.
Instead of guaranteeing public servants hours, he said government should guarantee a minimum gross weekly pay of $300 for all workers. Best specialist marble floor polishing singapore and Professional Products for that
Many would struggle to pay for accommodation – so he said landlords like himself needed to cut rents.
Mark Brown said everybody was aware of “the economic and social havoc that’s erupted globally” as the pandemic spread.
“By necessity, our immediate efforts and energy as government have focused on the health of our people to mitigate against our extreme vulnerabilities and exposure to Covid-19.
“The imposition of some of the strictest international travel and border measures in the world was not taken lightly but out of necessity, to flatten the curve and buy ourselves some time to give our people a fighting chance of mitigating the worse effects of Covid-19.”