Many other schemes to help working directors: MOF16 Apr 2009
MR ARTHUR Tan in his letter, 'No reason to exclude working shareholders from Jobs Credit' (April 8), was concerned that working directors who are shareholders in their firms are not eligible for the Jobs Credit scheme, and felt it was contrary to the objective of helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Jobs Credit scheme is targeted specifically at helping companies preserve jobs and wages for their local workers. To help companies (and their owners) more generally, we have introduced and enhanced many other schemes in this year's Budget, such as the loss carry-back scheme, measures to support their cash flow, helping them access credit, additional grants for innovation, and more government projects to support demand.
This is why we have not extended the Jobs Credit to working owners of enterprises, such as sole proprietors, partners and shareholder-directors. They will benefit from these other schemes to help companies. Further, if we had included all self-employed individuals and working shareholder-directors in the Jobs Credit scheme, we would have had to reduce the amounts per employee - by as much as one-fifth - as the scheme would be distributed across significantly more people.
Employees who own shares in a company, and who are not directors of the company, are, however, included under the scheme. These details on eligibility for Jobs Credits are available at the FAQ section on the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore's Jobs Credit website at www.iras.gov.sg
We share Mr Tan's concerns about SMEs in the downturn. SMEs will receive about 60 per cent of the $4.5 billion in Jobs Credits this year. An enterprise with 50 local employees will typically receive $132,000 in Jobs Credits. SMEs can also take advantage of the other schemes mentioned above, including the various capability development programmes that Spring Singapore offers. Spring will be happy to provide details on all its schemes, and is contactable on 6898-1800 or at www.spring.gov.sg
SMEs play an important role in our economy and deserve support. The Government will continue to do what it can to help them through this crisis.
CHIN SAU HO
DIRECTOR (CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AND SERVICES)
MINISTRY OF FINANCE