At approximately 3.30pm today, 26 May 2020, Mr Lim awaits with bated breath as he sits gingerly in front of his screens eagerly anticipating the contents of the $33b Fortitude budget.
Mr Patrick Low, a motor cars dealer and a single parent of five children lamented that people like him has been largely overlooked in this looming crisis. He feels that he had felt the full brunt of the circuit-breaker. Since end March, he has not managed to sell any of his cars. His showroom is currently closed and he has a team of over six full time employees with salaries waiting to be paid.
Living in a private property and self employed, he is not eligible and has not received much financial aid despite having five children and two elderly parents to look after. Many thoughts raced through Mr Low’s mind as he watched Minister’s Heng’s speech. What will he say this time? My business has come to a standstill due to the Covid situation. It has been close to three months that I have no business yet I have to pay rent to the landlords, salaries of my staff, the expenses of my children and family all weighing on me. His children, youngest being 10 and oldest 18, their tuition fees alone amount to almost $4K each month.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat released a fourth Budget today, announcing an SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package that will create close to 100,000 opportunities, which includes the jobs, as well as 25,000 traineeships and 30,000 skills training placements. In addition to this, he announced that eligible tenants will continue to receive further rental waivers and rebates from landlords. Households with at least one Singaporean will receive $100 subsidy on utility bills.
Mr Low shows some relief after hearing today’s Budget. The rent for his car showroom and garage is one of his greatest concerns and today he is grateful to hear that the government is offering more aid. He still dreads to think about the future but shares that at least for the next few months, some weight is lifted off his shoulder. When asked if he will cut down on his children’s tuition fees so as to reduce his financial burden, Mr Low took a deep breath, knitted his brows together and said, “I will do my best not to. Their academic results are so important. Education is one thing that I prioritise the most. My eldest and my third child are taking their A’levels and O’levels respectively, it is their critical year. I will dig deep into my savings for their future.
At The Learning Space, we know this crisis is difficult for everyone. A team of our Teachers and Tutors have banded together to provide quality online tuition at a discounted rate for students in graduating years. To find out more about this, do email us.