Parliament to discuss arts sector support, housing issues amid COVID-19 pandemic

Parliament to discuss arts sector support, housing issues amid COVID-19 pandemic

Singapore Parliament House
File photo of Parliament House. (Photo: Hani Amin) 

SINGAPORE: Assistance for the arts sector and housing issues amid the COVID-19 pandemic will be on the agenda when Parliament sits next Tuesday (May 26).

The Government will also provide an update on Singapore's continuing fight against the novel coronavirus, with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat set to deliver a ministerial statement on further support for businesses and people.

READ: COVID-19: DPM Heng Swee Keat to deliver ministerial statement on further help for businesses, individuals

Members of Parliament (MPs) tabled questions on various issues to do with the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Nominated MP Terence Ho asked whether the National Arts Council would consider extending support to artists and arts groups until the end of the year, given the extended “circuit breaker” period.

All entertainment venues, including cinemas and theatres, have been closed since Mar 26. 

Mr Ho also asked whether the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth would consider downloading direct funding to arts companies in addition to grant applications for projects, to help them weather the COVID-19 outbreak.

READ: Transition to a 'new normal' after circuit breaker: How will measures be lifted beyond Phase 1?

Also on Parliament’s agenda is the housing situation faced by families who have been affected by the pandemic.

MP Henry Kwek asked whether the Housing and Development Board (HDB) would ensure an adequate number of flats under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme for young families facing "added economic uncertainties due to the COVID-19 situation".

READ: COVID-19: Construction sites can resume work from Jun 2; priority given to projects that follow new safety measures

MP Sylvia Lim asked whether the Urban Redevelopment Authority and HDB would permit rentals of residential premises that are shorter than three months for private property and six months for flats, to provide accommodation for families displaced by construction work delays due to circuit breaker measures.

Mr Heng will deliver his ministerial statement at 3.30pm and it will be published in full on the Singapore Budget website after delivery. There will also be live television and radio coverage.

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Source: CNA/zl(nc)

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