Press release

26 May 2020 Singapore, SG

EY reactions to Fortitude Budget

SINGAPORE, 26 May 2020. EY released its reactions to the Fortitude Budget announcement.

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Ying Shan Ho

Media Relations (Consulting, Digital, Talent) and Social Media Lead, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP

Media relations and social media lead. Wide reader and TV viewer of anything from bots and business to Black Mirror. Visual arts and theater enthusiast.

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EY released its reactions to the Fortitude Budget announcement. 

Mr. Max Loh, Managing Partner, Singapore and Brunei, Ernst & Young LLP:

“The Fortitude Budget builds on the previous three budgets and agilely learns from the experiences to date to help Singapore companies and the workforce position for the next phase of reopening and beyond the pandemic. With measures to protect the livelihoods of people, support enterprises to transform digitally and strengthen social resilience, the focus is both targeted and inclusive in helping the country prevail through the current challenges and press on with getting back on the path of growth.”

Ms. Soh Pui Ming, Singapore Head of Tax, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP:

“The Fortitude Budget continues to provide timely financial relief to businesses and individuals, while adopting a forward-looking approach. I am most impressed with how the government is using this downtime to help our SMEs accelerate their transformation and upskill our workforce.”

Create jobs and build skills for our workers

Mr. Samir Bedi, EY Asean Workforce Advisory Leader:

“The Fortitude Budget provides certainty in uncertain times, in that the government will do its best to protect jobs and livelihoods through the updated Job Support Scheme as we transition to reopen the economy.

The creation of the National Job Council is a step in the right direction to better manage unemployment. It is heartening to see the government taking the lead in creating jobs and working with ecosystem partners to create additional jobs in the private sector.”

Mr. Chai Wai Fook, Partner, Tax Services, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP: 

“The extension of the Jobs Support Scheme for an additional month for all businesses and the extension of 75% co-funding wage support where applicable, will provide additional cashflow relief to employers to help safeguard jobs and keep their business afloat.

The extension of the foreign workers levy waiver and rebate by an additional two months for businesses that remain closed after the end of the circuit breaker period will provide a much-needed boost to help businesses tackle their immediate cashflow challenges.”

Leverage technology to transform our enterprises

Mr. Desmond Teo, EY Asia-Pacific Growth Markets Financial Services Tax Leader:

“The Fortitude Budget reflects the reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has permanently reshaped how business is done, and therefore the urgency for all businesses, from sole proprietors and hawkers to SMEs, to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world through digital transformation.

While structural changes such as digital transformation and jobs reskilling are necessary, they take time and resources, and the grants announced reflects Singapore’s investment in building its future in a digital world.”

Mr. Chai Wai Fook, Partner, Tax Services, Ernst & Young Solutions LLP:

“To help SMEs, which are more vulnerable than large businesses in this crisis, the Fortitude Budget has introduced measures including the disbursement of cash grants to SME tenants through property owners and the mandatory contribution by landlords through granting rental waiver to SME tenants. With cash flow concerns alleviated through these measures, SMEs should take the opportunity to relook at their business models, and train and upskill their workers to emerge stronger after the crisis.”

Strengthen resilience for our nation

Mr. Desmond Teo, EY Asia-Pacific Growth Markets Financial Services Tax Leader:

“The three downward revisions of Singapore’s 2020 GDP forecast over the past few months shows how unpredictable and protracted the COVID-19 crisis continues to be. With the latest 2020 GDP of -4% and -7%, Singapore is bracing for its worst-ever recession and the government holds back no punches in its fight to support the economy and protect jobs.”

Mr. Samir Bedi, EY Asean Workforce Advisory Leader:

“The Fortitude Budget marks a shift in focus to go beyond addressing our current challenges and look to the future. To thrive in the future, we need to nurture an ecosystem of enterprises that harnesses digital transformation for long-term sustainability, a resilient workforce that embraces lifelong learning and a digitally inclusive Singapore.”

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Notes to Editors

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