Singapore: Ongoing assessment to see if businesses need extra support amid the Ukraine Crisis

Assessing if Singapore Businesses need extra support amid uncertain global environment

Singapore. Finance Minister Lawrence Wong spoke at the Lianhe Zaobao Singapore Budget 2022 Business Forum on March 28. According to Mr Wong, the Singaporean Government is still conducting evaluations to see if businesses need additional support. This comes amid the world’s uncertain global environment, particularly the current Russia-Ukraine crisis.

According to Mr Wong, several small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been requesting more aid due to the world’s current situation. In line with this, they have announced the necessary course of action for this situation. Although funds are not yet distributed, some people say that funds are inadequate.

With that said, Mr Wong asks for extra time to assess if additional support is needed. So, if the situation ever does worsen, Mr Wong claims that Singaporean businesses would provide the additional support needed by its citizens. In addition, Mr Wong also stated that they are also evaluating to see if they can distribute government support to several SMEs in Singapore and individuals ahead of the original schedule.

Plans to Implement Higher Taxes

Besides plans to roll out support in advance, the Singaporean Government also has discussions to possibly impose higher taxes to provide more aid to businesses in Singapore. In the business forum, Mr Wong further explained that although he understands that an SME in Singapore requires more aid from them, the government needs to grow its revenue in order to offer extra assistance.

Mr Wong emphasised that they would be discussing who should be doing so to maintain the needed equilibrium. No further comments are made about who has to pay higher taxes to increase the government’s revenue.

Encouraging Small Businesses to Embrace Digitalisation and Training Support

Besides plans to roll out support in advance, the Government has discussions to possibly impose higher taxes to provide more aid to businesses in Singapore. In the business forum, Mr Wong further explained that although he understands that businesses will need more aid, the government needs to grow its revenue to offer extra assistance.

Mr Wong emphasised that they would be discussing who should be doing so to maintain the needed equilibrium. No further comments are made about who has to pay higher taxes to increase the government’s revenue.

Lack of Skilled Tech Workers

The Lianhe Zaobao Singapore Budget 2022 Business Forum also brought up the country’s lack of skilled tech workers for businesses in Singapore. In the forum, Association of Small and Medium Enterprises president Kurt Wee insisted that they make alterations to the country’s S Pass system guidelines.

ASME President Wee recommended bringing back the country’s old guidelines for employing S Pass workers. Before the changes that occurred on January 1, 2020, small businesses could hire a foreign worker with an S Pass for every six local workers in their workforce. But with the new guidelines, businesses needed to have nine local workers to hire one foreign worker under an S Pass.

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