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Singapore Budget 2016: An interactive primer to Budget 2016

Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 18:52

The 2016 Singapore Budget will have high hurdles to cross if it is to match the generous packages from the past two rounds of government spending, when the Pioneer Generation Package and the Skills Future programme were announced. If the estimated overall balance for budget year 2015 of negative S$6.7 billion is accurate, it will be the deepest deficit in at least 11 years. The 2016 Budget is expected to be more muted instead, partly in deference to an ongoing review of the country's economic strategy.

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Government projections for revenue could also be tempered by expectations of a slower economy in 2016. Income taxes from companies and individuals account for the lion's share of operating revenue. If corporate and individual earnings are lower in 2016, tax revenue will take a hit as well.

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Some revenue relief could come from Temasek Holdings, the Singapore government-owned investment company. The 2016 Budget will be the first time that the government can apply the "Net Investment Returns" framework to Temasek's takings, which could allow the government to use about S$3 billion from Temasek, by some estimates.

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In terms of spending priorities, education could receive attention as the government tries to promote innovation and develop the science, technology, engineering and math fields. Recent comments by lawmakers about the risks of terrorism could also manifest in national development initiatives. Healthcare expenditure has also been rising consistently over the past decade, and expectations are for the trend to continue.

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Concerns about terrorism could also see higher spending in defence, already the single largest expenditure each year, and home affairs.

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Flow of Money (S$b)

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❯ Total Inflow: S$0B
❮ Total Outflow: S$0B
 

 

 
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