Last month, when the COVID-19 cases reported was less than ten every day, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced a special Stabilisation and Support Package that aimed to help workers and companies.
$4 billion would be spent to help these group of companies and their workers, which includes wavier of a month’s rental for Government-managed properties, an 8% cash grant on each local employee’s pay and many more measures.
However, one group of workers is kind of missed out: the self-employed.
After all, they’re not employed by any companies and their finance is stained as the economic slowdown led to less, or even no, gigs.
One solution provided for them is a system for them to go for courses while receiving an allowance of $7.50 per hour, but let’s face it: that amount is enough for a person to survive but would be challenging for a person who has dependents.
In fact, a website, ilostmygig.sg, was formed, whereby freelancers (i.e. self-employed people) can contribute data on how much money they’ve lost due to COVID-19.
As of today (26 March 2020), 7,272 projects have been lost, 1,828 people have been affected and a whopping $24 million have been lost.
Which is why in the new financial help by the authorities, this group is now receiving more help.
$1.2 Billion for Self-Employed People
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, in his Supplementary Budget speech in Parliament today (26 March 2020), addressed this group early in his speech.
Eligible self-employed people will receive $1,000 a month for nine months to help tide them over this COVID-19 period.
Called the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme, it’ll cost the Government $1.2 billion.
Now, the key word here is “eligible”: who is considered eligible?
Information about this will be revealed at a later date, but according to Mr Heng, this includes (and not limited to) taxi and private-hire car drivers, real estate agents, media and art freelancers and sports coaches.
However, of course, don’t think you’d be $1,000 richer every month simply because you’re a property agent—remember, it’s for “eligible” people, so if you’re just like all my property agent friends who claim to earn more than $100,000 monthly, then you might not get it unless you actually earn $10 per month lah.
But if you’re a PHV driver who’s been hit badly by this, this might be goody news.
Just wait for more news lah, this one is for nine months leh.
In addition, for people who still want to earn that $7.50 per hour allowance from courses, you’d be glad to know that the amount has been increased to $10 per hour from 1 May 2020.
In the meantime, with the entire thingy being planned for nine months, I believe tonight’s announcement on new COVID-19 cases shouldn’t be low le.