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Parliamentary Replies

Abuse of Jobs Support Scheme

06 Oct 2020
Parliamentary Question by Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of the employers who have received Jobs Support Scheme payouts (a) what is the number of firms that have conducted a self-review declaration; and (b) what is the number of cases of JSS abuse that have been detected and the range of penalties imposed.

Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:

Since its introduction at the Unity Budget in February, the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) has supported the wages of over two million local workers in 150,000 businesses. I am heartened that the majority of employers are using the JSS as intended, to retain and pay wages to their local workers. 

However, we are aware that a small minority of employers have attempted to game, abuse or defraud the Government for JSS payouts that they are not eligible for. For instance, in order to increase their JSS payouts, some of these employers have made CPF contributions for non-genuine employees or have increased CPF contributions without any actual wage increase. To guard against such cases, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS), which is the scheme administrator, has instituted a robust anti-gaming framework, leveraging data from various sources as well as information from whistleblowers.

Based on this framework, IRAS has identified 2,200 employers for further administrative review. Such employers had their July JSS payouts temporarily withheld and were required to provide documentations to verify the authenticity and accuracy of CPF contributions made. Once verified, the JSS will be paid out to them as soon as possible. We will continue to take this risk-based approach for future JSS payouts. 

To date, IRAS has received documents from and completed the review of about half of the cases.  4 employers have been referred to the Police for further investigations. Investigations are still ongoing. 

We take a very serious view of employers who attempt to game, abuse or defraud the JSS. Employers who attempt to do so will be severely dealt with. Offenders can be charged under Section 420 of the Penal Code and may face up to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine.