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Singapore must remain attractive place for work, business: Heng Swee Keat

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AT a time when other economies are lowering corporate tax rates, Singapore must do what it can to remain an attractive place to work and do business, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday.

AT a time when other economies are lowering corporate tax rates, Singapore must do what it can to remain an attractive place to work and do business, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday.

But this should not compromise the sustainability of fiscal revenue, he added.

"In more recent years, more countries have lowered - or announced their intention to lower - corporate income tax rates," said Mr Heng in his round-up speech for Budget 2017 to Parliament on Thursday.

The United Kingdom and the new administration in the United States are planning to lower corporate tax rates, he noted.

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"We must ensure that Singapore continues to be an attractive place to work, and to do business, so that we can have a thriving, vibrant economy," Mr Heng stressed.

No further details were shared by Mr Heng.

But in order to ensure the sustainability of Singapore's tax system, the government also has to consider its tax revenue base.

In this case, it ensures that the tax system is fair and progressive. In recent Budgets, Singapore has made personal income tax rates and property tax rates more progressive even as new schemes were introduced to provide more support.

"We will study all options carefully," said Mr Heng. "We must start planning early. This is the right and responsible way, rather than give promises to be dealt with by future governments and Singapore comes under fiscal strain."

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