Covid-19: Here’s how much money countries have pledged for virus relief
12 Mar 2020
Italy, the U.K. and Australia were among the latest governments to add to a fast-rising global tally of government stimulus to counter economic damage from the 2019 novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.
U.S. President Donald Trump outlined a package of measures on Wednesday in Washington, and Indonesia took further steps to support businesses and consumers with tax relief.
About US$130 billion in budget support has been pledged or is under consideration by governments around the world. Some have allocated new money for cash handouts and medical care, while several are planning targeted measures like tax breaks and loan support.
The fiscal response to the virus outbreak has accelerated alongside the global tally of confirmed cases, which now exceeds 126,000, with more than 4,600 deaths reported.
The World Bank separately has allocated US$12 billion in virus aid for developing economies, while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said it’s making available US$50 billion to help countries deal with the virus, including US$10 billion at zero interest for the poorest nations.
Here’s a look at what governments have announced so far:
The economy most severely affected by the outbreak, China has kept its stimulus response targeted and relatively modest, with no large-scale spending plans or monetary easing announced.
Top leaders have signaled a “more proactive” fiscal policy, alongside steps already taken by authorities to cushion the economy and support financial markets. Upcoming measures include targeted, phased tax cuts; an increase in local-government special-bond quota; and more fiscal transfers from central government to local virus-hit regions.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration rolled out a second package to tackle virus effects, bringing the total allocation since last month to 2.03 trillion yen (US$19.6 billion)
The latest measures include 1.1 trillion yen in loan support and 430.8 billion yen in aid for medical professionals and those affected by school closures. That adds to 500 billion yen allocated last month in low-cost loans to companies affected by the virus.
Some ruling-party members are calling for an extra budget of 30 trillion yen in coming months.
11.7 trillion won (US$9.7 billion) was allocated in a special budget to aid medical response, businesses and households; Yonhap News reports officials are discussing expanding the amount.
Tax breaks, rent subsidies announced Feb 28.
Fiscal stimulus worth A$17.6 billion (US$11.4 billion) includes A$1.3 billion to safeguard jobs of 120,000 apprentices; one-time cash payments to welfare recipients and lower-income households; wage subsidies for small- and medium-sized firms.
A$1 billion fund set up to help tourism operators and some China-exposed exporters.
A second support package including delayed corporate and income-tax payments and relaxed import rules on some goods, takes effect April 1.
A stimulus package worth 10.3 trillion rupiah (US$712 million) unveiled last month includes fiscal incentives, grants to local governments and a boost to social security funds.
Government said its package of stimulus measures will inject about 400 billion baht (US$12.7 billion) into the economy to counter virus effects. It includes 180 billion baht of concessionary loans, as well as tax cuts.
That would add to just-passed budget that’s expected to spur 640 billion baht in investment.
Policy makers have signaled willingness to tap national reserves for the first time in more than a decade, to fund a potential second stimulus package.
S$6.4 billion (US$4.6 billion) allocated in annual budget toward virus response, support for businesses and consumers. Of that, S$800 million — most of which will go to the Health Ministry — is dedicated to combating the virus.
HK$120 billion (US$15.4 billion) relief package announced in annual budget. Includes HK$10,000 payment to each permanent resident 18 years or older.
20 billion ringgit (US$4.7 billion) allocated in a special stimulus package; includes aid for businesses, especially tourism, lower minimum pension contributions, tax payment extensions and infrastructure upgrades.
The new government is reviewing the package to see whether it can add to the stimulus and give support to the poorest 40% of the population.
Government is ready to spend as much as 25 billion euros (US$28.3 billion) on virus-related stimulus; provisions could include aid for workers facing temporary layoffs and compensation for affected firms.
Finance Minister Roberto Gualtieri said the Cabinet is likely to approve a first package worth about about 12 billion euros by Friday; the rest will be a reserve for further measures.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government took steps to assist businesses affected by virus fallout including loosening rules for short-term work compensation and providing tax breaks to firms.
Government has refrained from major stimulus in response to the outbreak, amid reluctance to boost debt, as confirmed cases surpass 1,500.
Lawmakers are set to vote on Thursday on a package of measures including paid sick leave for hourly workers staying at home.
Trump said on Wednesday that he’s deferring tax payments for individuals and businesses affected by the virus, estimating this would pump US$200 billion into the economy, and that he’s calling on the Small Businesses Administration to provide emergency capital to certain firms.
A US$7.8 billion emergency spending bill to fund response to the outbreak, was signed on March 6.
The government is set to announce measures soon to help buffer the economy from virus and oil-price effects.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau has said the focus will be on targeted measures for the health system and businesses, while downplaying the need for major spending or tax package.
A 12 billion-pound (US$15.3 billion) virus package was announced as part of a 30 billion-pound budget, including 5 billion pounds for a National Health Service emergency response fund, statutory sick pay for those self-quarantined, and aid for businesses.
The fiscal pledge came shortly after a surprise interest-rate cut by the Bank of England.