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Budget 2016: As It Happened

Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 15:24

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Singapore's Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered this year's Budget in Parliament at 3.30pm on Mar 24, 2016.

Singapore's Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered this year's Budget in Parliament at 3.30pm on Mar 24, 2016.

For more Budget stories, go to bt.sg/budget_16.

Three main thrusts to deal with challenges in Singapore economy

This year's Budget has three key thrusts to address the challenges in Singapore's economy, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday. 

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Not "overly pessimistic" for 2016, but restructuring is urgent, critical

The Singapore economy is expected to grow at one per cent to 3 per cent for the year. This is "not very different" from the 2 per cent growth seen in 2015, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance. 


Corporate income tax rebate to rise to 50% of tax payable

The existing Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rebate will go up to 50 per cent of tax payable, up from 30 per cent currently, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday. The last time that Singapore had a 50 per cent rebate was back in 2001.


Wage offset scheme for older workers to be modified, extended

The Special Employment Credit (SEC) will be modified and extended for three years, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance. The SEC provides employers with a wage offset for workers aged 55 and above, earning up to S$4,000 a month.


Foreign worker levy to go up for services, construction sectors; deferred for marine sector

Levy increases for the hiring of foreign workers in the services and construction segments will proceed, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance. This will affect work permit holders, and S Pass holders.


SMEs can loan up to S$300k under new working capital loan scheme

A new SME Working Capital Loan scheme will be introduced for loans of up to S$300,000 per company, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday.


Premature to relax property measures

It is too premature to relax property cooling measures, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance, given the price level and current market conditions.


Industry Transformation Programme to create value and drive growth

The new Industry Transformation Programme will help firms and industries to create new value and drive growth in four ways, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday.


3-year Automation Support Package to provide support of over S$400m

The government will roll out a new Automation Support Package to support companies to automate, drive productivity and scale up, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday.


SME mezzanine growth fund increased to up to S$150m

The SME mezzanine growth fund will be expanded to up to S$150 million, compared to the current size of S$100 million, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance.


Non-taxation on disposal gains on equity investments extended

The Ministry of Finance will extend the non-taxation of companies' gain on disposal of their equity investments, until May 31, 2022, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance.


Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation scheme extended to March 2020

The government will extend the Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation scheme until March 31, 2020. The scheme covers qualifying expenses incurred for activities such as participation in overseas business development and investment study trips.


The Ministry of Finance will develop the National Trade Platform (NTP), to cost more than S$100 million, as the next-generation platform to support firms particularly in the logistics and trade finance sectors, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance.


S$450m set aside for national robotics programme

The Ministry of Finance will offer S$450 million to support the national robotics programme over the next three years, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance.


National Research Fund to get S$1.5b top-up

To support the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2020 effort, the government will provide a top-up of S$1.5 billion to the National Research Fund this year, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday.


S$4.5 billion set aside for Industry Transformation Programme

The government will set aside a total of S$4.5 billion under the new Industry Transformation Programme to support enterprises and industries, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday. This is on top of the amounts for research and development and the National Productivity Fund.


PIC cash payout rate cut to 40%; scheme to expire after YA2018

The Ministry of Finance will lower the cash payout rate under the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme to 40 per cent from 60 per cent, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance. This will apply to expenditures incurred on or after Aug 1, 2016. The second component of PIC, a tax deduction at 400 per cent, is unchanged.


More support for families with children

The Ministry of Finance will provide more support for families with children, including a pilot that will cost more S$20 million to help some 1,000 children whose parents "need more support to give their children a good start in life," said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance.


More payouts, higher qualifying income ceiling for Workfare scheme

The Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme will be enhanced in several ways, with the total budget set to be about S$770 million a year, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday.


Better retirement support for needy seniors, to cost S$320m in first year

The Ministry of Finance will provide support for needy seniors, through Silver Support, that will cost close to S$320 million in the first year, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance.


One-off GST Voucher special cash payment for 1.4 million citizens

A one-off "GST Voucher - Cash" special payment of up to S$200 will be given to eligible Singaporeans to support them amid the current economic conditions, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday.


S$86m worth of S&CC rebates to benefit 840,000 HDB households

Around 840,000 Housing Board households will benefit from S$86 million in Service & Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebates in Financial Year 2016, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday. 


Cap on personal income tax relief at S$80,000 a year

The Ministry of Finance will introduce a cap on the total amount of personal income tax relief an individual can claim, at S$80,000 per year of assessment, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance. This will affect the one per cent of tax-resident individuals. To take effect from year of assessment 2018, this tax-relief cap is expected to raise S$100 million a year.


Government to boost matching for charity giving from businesses

The Ministry of Finance will provide a dollar-for-dollar matching for additional donations through ComChest's monthly donation programme that funnels regular donations through payroll deductions or GIRO, said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance.


FY2015 Budget expected to record S$4.9b deficit

The Budget for Financial Year 2015 is expected to record a deficit of S$4.9 billion, or 1.2 per cent of Singapore's gross domestic product (GDP), said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday.


Overall budget surplus of S$3.4b expected in FY2016

The government expects an overall budget surplus of S$3.4 billion - 0.8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) - for Financial Year 2016, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament on Thursday.


 

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