Everything You Need To Know About Singapore Budget 2018
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has delivered the Budget statement on Monday, February 19. The total expenditure this year is expected to be S$80.0 billion, or 8.3% higher than in FY2017.
As speculated, the goods and services tax (GST) will be raised from 7% to 9% some time between 2021 and 2025. The raise in GST will be implemented progressively so as not to place too much burden on Singaporeans. In addition, a new GST on imported digital services will also be introduced.
Some Singaporeans also conjectured that there will be fees or taxes that would affect the wealthy. This was confirmed by the Budget statement, as it was announced that the Buyer’s Stamp Duty (BSD) rate for residential properties will increase from 3% to 4%. However, this will only affect residential properties in excess of S$1 million.
A carbon tax of S$5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions will also be introduced this year. However, it will only be levied on facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions in a year. Its impact on households is expected to be 1% of total electricity and gas expenses. Nevertheless, eligible HDB households will receive an additional S$20 of U-Save rebates annually from 2019-2021.
On the flipside, the Budget placed emphasis this year on helping businesses innovate digitally and scale up globally by providing grants and tax deductions. The new Enterprise Singapore (a merger of SPRING and IE Singapore), for example, will provide integrated support to companies to help them compete better both locally and abroad.
Senior spending was also an area of focus in the Budget. Under ElderShield, premium subsidies will be provided for lower- and middle-income Singaporeans. Families or single Singaporeans can also expect bigger Proximity Housing Grants (PHG), from S$10,000 to S$30,000 when buying a resale flat to live with or near their parents or children. Additionally, the Government has declared additional spending for senior support programmes, such as Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) and the for Community Silver Trust (CST).
Budget 2018 was wrapped up with the announcement of a ‘hongbao’. All Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2018 will enjoy a one-off SG bonus of S$300, S$200 or S$100, depending on their income.
Take a look at the infographic for key highlights from the Budget.