Singapore finance minister unveils $5.8 billion worth of virus support measures

FILE PHOTO: Singapore's Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat speaks at a UBS client conference in Singapore, January 14, 2019. REUTERS/Feline Lim

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore’s finance minister on Monday unveiled more economic support measures worth about S$8 billion ($5.8 billion) to cushion the blow from the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and workers.

“The continued support in our fight against COVID-19 will cost S$8 billion,” Heng Swee Keat said in a speech.

“We intend to fund these measures by reallocating monies from other areas, such as development expenditures that were delayed due to COVID-19. There are no plans to draw on past reserves for these measures.”

The island-state, one of the world’s most open economies, has already spent nearly S$100 billion ($73 billion) over four budgets aimed at offsetting the impact of the virus this year as it faces its deepest ever recession.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and Anshuman Daga in Singapore; Editing by Toby Chopra