‘Additional Government Support Measures Widely Backed as Jobs Picture Deteriorates. More than 8 in 10 Singaporeans Want Next GE Delayed Until After the Crisis.’
The first public survey conducted since Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat’s Resilience Budget on 26th March shows Singaporeans keeping faith with the Government during these tough times. But the impact of the coronavirus is hitting Singaporeans personally both in health and economic terms.
In health terms:
- 5% of Singaporeans know a friend or colleague who has contracted the virus, while 4% have a family member who has contracted it.
- 8% of Singaporeans have experienced self-isolation or quarantine.
- 32% believe it is likely they will contract the virus in the next six months.
- 76% believe number of cases will continue to increase in the next two weeks.
- 37% say they are more anxious than they usually are – with anxiety higher amongst 20-somethings and 50-somethings.
- 29% they are more bored than usual given social restrictions – with those under 30 the most bored (36%).
There is a mixed impact felt in terms of how relationships are faring at home - while 18% say family relations have strengthened during the crisis, 9% say family relations have actually deteriorated.
In economic terms:
- 64% of Singaporeans expect they will be financially worse off in 2020 compared to 2019. This compares to only 45% who said the same in our post-Budget carried out in February.
- 7% said they have lost their job already.
- 15% have had their wages reduced.
- 17% are working lesser hours.
Despite the worrying economic circumstances, faith in the Government is at a high level, with a full 54% scoring the Resilience Budget 8 or better out of 10. The average score was 7.4 out of 10, up from 6.7 when we measured reaction to February’s Budget. The survey also showed:
- A 9 percentage point improvement* in the number of Singaporeans rating Government public communication efforts during crisis as excellent.
- A 7 percentage point improvement in the number of Singaporeans rating Government action plans during crisis as excellent.
- A 6 percentage point improvement in the number of Singaporeans rating Government efforts in reducing public panic during crisis as excellent.
* Tracked previously in our earlier coronavirus survey released in early March
In other key findings:
- Apart from report job losses and reduced wages/working hours, 31% are now working and studying from home at least some days – about half of whom say it is now every day.
- 16% are looking for additional income.
- 15% have started a course to improve work skills.
- 17% have stopped taking public transport altogether.
- 37% have stocked up on extra groceries in case situation worsens.
- 37% are watching more movies/TV.
- 22% said they have just started using delivery services for meals and groceries.
- 52% say they have stopped going out socially and only go out for essential purposes.
- 20% are exercising more but 30% say they have ceased ALL outdoor activities including exercise and eating out.
- 26% say they are now trying to eat better.
General Election Speculation
- 85% of those surveyed said the Government should postpone the General Election until after the crisis is over.
Commenting on the findings, Blackbox Founder and CEO David Black said:
“Anyone who doubts the wider impact this virus is having only has to look at how many people are facing real pressures due to the virus’s impact on business and employment. Even at this point, the job impact numbers are sobering. There is every likelihood the Government will be tempted to announce a second resilience package in the next 4-6 weeks if these figures continue to deteriorate further”.
About the Survey
Blackbox carried out an online nationally representative survey of n=779 Singaporean citizen/PR adults aged 20 and above. Quotas were applied for gender, age and socio-economic criteria including education and household type to ensure representative coverage. The statistical margin of error for the study is 3.5%.
The survey was conducted on the dates 27-29 March with fieldwork commencing a day after the Resilience Budget announcements.