8 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE SINGAPORE BUDGET (NUMBER 4 WILL EXCITE YOU)

Written by Joseph Ong

1. HUGE Budget Deficit of $10.9 Billion Expected 

This is a result of the “more expansionary” budget plan to boost the economy amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

2. GST Hike Delayed 

The increase in goods and services tax (GST) from 7 per cent to 9 per cent will not happen in 2021 due to the current state of the economy. Instead, it will be pushed back to sometime between 2021 and 2025.

3. More Money to Fight Coronavirus Outbreak 

$800 million will be set aside, with the bulk going to the Ministry of Health.

4. FREE Money for Households 

A $1.6 billion Care and Support Package will be introduced to help households with expenses amidst the coronavirus outbreak and economic situation.

All adult Singaporeans (sorry T00 readers) will be given cash payouts of $100, $200 or $300 depending on their income. The package also includes additional grocery vouchers for low income families, GST vouchers, HDB service charge rebates and more.

5. Support for Businesses 

The government will dedicate $4 billion to the Stabilisation and Support Package to strengthen the economy. Under the package, the Jobs Support Scheme and Wage Credit scheme will help businesses retain workers and co-fund wage increases.

The tourism, aviation, retail, food services and transport sectors directly affected by the coronavirus outbreak will receive additional support for operating costs, cash flow and employment.

6. Economy Transformation and Growth

$8.3 billion will be allocated over the next three years towards the Singapore economy’s transformation and growth. The funds will go into enabling stronger partnerships, deepening enterprise capabilities and developing people.

7. Education 

The government will aim for 70% of local graduates from Institutes of Higher Learning to have overseas exposure, particularly in Southeast Asia, China or India.

8. Climate Change 

All vehicles with internal combustion engines will be phased out by 2040. A new Coastal and Flood Protection Fund will be set up to combat rising sea levels, as well as a new HDB Green Towns Programme to ensure sustainable living in HDB estates.

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