COVID-19 has caused a global recession. Singapore’s economy could shrink more in 2020 than ever seen before.
The worst recession before 2020 was in 1998, when the economy shrank by 2.2%.
The MTI forecast for 2020 is that the economy could shrink by 4% to 7%.
Many jobs are at stake. Incomes are likely to fall. Lower-income Singaporeans will need more help. Some sectors like travel and tourism may be affected for some time.
COVID-19 will also accelerate the restructuring of economies. We will need to help Singaporeans affected by this restructuring.
For the first time in Singapore’s history, we had four Budgets in three months. The Budgets provide nearly $100 billion to help.
We have also changed the laws to help small businesses and self-employed persons. The images below set out the help available. No one will be left behind.
We are dipping into our reserves, which our previous generations have built up.
No-one knows how long the recession will last.
We face a difficult, uncertain period. We will need a strong, tested and prudent government.