On 12 October 2021, TSMP Law Corporation joint managing partner Stefanie Yuen Thio was quoted in a Business Times article on companies paying their key executives or directors more even as net profits fell.
Stefanie said “The problem with government grants is that they are a blunt tool.”
“When Covid first struck and our nation had to go into a full circuit-breaker apocalypse, I think all businesses appreciated the grants. For many companies, they were a lifeline. But I think it should not be calculated in the profits of a company and certainly not for determining bonuses,” she said.
She added that the law firm had put its Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) grants aside in a separate account.
Nevertheless, she said, it is hard to be “too prescriptive” about how the government grants should be applied.
She commented “The grants were given as an emergency financial response and were necessary then. However, as we start to come out of Covid and the temporary relief granted under the Covid-19 Temporary Measures Act are rolled back, we need to take a fresh look at the terrain and decide what assistance will be more effective,” and said “I think jobs support schemes targeted at employers only are too blunt an instrument to tackle the next phase of our response to the economic effects of Covid.”