Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Heng Swee Keat, in a Facebook post on May 24, announced that the upcoming Budget will include better ways to support the social service sector. In a virtual meeting on Sunday, he received inputs from social service organizations as the fourth round of COVID-19 support measures is expected to be announced on Tuesday.

Social service organizations are doing all they can to support vulnerable members during the circuit breaker. Their passion was evidently visible during the dialogue, said Heng, who is also the Finance Minister of Singapore. Social service agencies are facing difficulties in fundraising during the pandemic. The whole discussion was about how they can strengthen the collaboration to tackle such problems.

I was very happy to e-meet many familiar faces from the social service sector on Saturday, together with Desmond Lee,...

Posted by Heng Swee Keat on Saturday, May 23, 2020

As more services are being provided online, the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital. The government will work on to encourage digitalization and scaling up new capabilities by hastening the transformation, said Heng. Minister of Community, Culture and Youth, Grace Fu, Minister of Social and Family Development, Desmond Lee, and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Indranee Rajah, also joined him in the call.

$63.7n Aid Already Provided in 3 Support Packages

Heng said: "We are making good progress towards building a more caring and inclusive society. We will build an even better tomorrow, with the strong support of social service agencies."

Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Heng Swee Keat
Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore, Heng Swee Keat facebook/@Heng Swee Keat

A total of $63.7b aid has been already announced by the government in earlier three COVID-19 support packages which rolled out between February and April. These measures included subsidized wages for local workers, job support schemes, and direct cash transfer such as $600 solidarity payment.

A sum of $6.4b was set aside to assist businesses, workers and families affected by the coronavirus crisis in the first Unity Budget that was presented on February 18. On April 6, $48.4b was added by the Finance Ministry in a supplementary Resilience Budget. In order to enhance and extend several support measures, another $5.1b was announced under the Solidarity Budget.

The ministry added $3.8b this month to extend the support measures for another four weeks of the circuit break period. To fund these support packages, President Halimah Yacob has already given her assent to draw around $21b, The Straits Times reported.