SINGAPORE: All adult Singaporeans aged 21 and above will receive a one-off Solidarity Payment of S$600 in cash, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced on Monday (Apr 6).
For the majority of Singaporeans who have provided their bank account details to the Government, the Solidarity Payment will be credited directly into their bank accounts by Apr 14 this year, said Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister.
The rest will receive the payment by cheque, to be issued in stages later, starting Apr 30, he added. The S$600 is made up of S$300 that he announced in his earlier supplementary budget and an additional S$300, Mr Heng explained.
The additional support is part of a Solidarity Budget to provide help to firms, workers and households in response to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic that has affected many sectors in Singapore. This is the third round of support measures from the Government.
“I will bring forward S$300 from the Care and Support – Cash payout that I announced earlier,” he said.
“I will provide timely support for households, to ensure that no household stands alone during this difficult period.”
Other cash payouts under the Care and Support Package, which were earlier announced, will be brought forward to June this year, instead of August.
These payouts include the remaining S$300 or S$600 from the higher tiers of the Care and Support – Cash payout, the additional S$300 payout for each parent with at least one child aged 20 and below, and the S$100 PAssion Card top-up, which will be given in cash, for Singaporeans aged 50 and above, Mr Heng said.
“Not everyone will need these cash payouts. I am very encouraged that many have written to me, my ministerial colleagues and MPs, that they do not need the cash payouts, and suggest that we give these to those who need the cash more. I thank fellow Singaporeans for your thoughtfulness,” Mr Heng said.
He urged those who can to donate to charities on the Giving.sg website or the Community Chest’s Courage Fund, or to directly share it with others.
He encouraged those who need more support to approach Social Service Offices and Community Centres, to apply for new schemes such as the Temporary Relief Fund and the upcoming COVID-19 Support Grant, which will be available from May 2020, as well as existing ComCare schemes.
“Some Singaporeans will also be emotionally affected or distressed in this period. So besides financial support, let us provide emotional and mental health support to our people,” he said.
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Community mental health support services will continue to provide care and support for clients through phone consultations, or home visits for those who may need more support, he said. He also commended a 24/7 National Care Hotline which the Ministry and Social Family Development announced over the weekend.
“I am glad that mental health professionals and trained volunteers have stepped forward to offer their help in setting up the new hotline,” he said.