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Singapore Budget 2018: Vibrant economy a key pillar in 'strategic and integrated financial plan', says PM Lee
THIS year's Budget is aimed at helping businesses grow to support a "vibrant and innovative" economy, and at the same time give workers a leg up in developing capabilities and skills to adapt to an economy which is increasingly going digital, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a Tuesday morning Facebook post.
The government, through grants, will support businesses to innovate and build capabilities, and also help firms internationalise, Mr Lee added.
Mr Lee said that Singapore also has to reduce its carbon footprint to become a "smart, green, and liveable" city. He said that this was the rationale behind the new carbon tax of S$5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, which will encourage industries and consumers reduce emissions.
On ageing, a new Silver Generation Office will coordinate social and health-related services for seniors, Mr Lee said.
He also said that government spending will rise in healthcare, infrastructure and security, underscoring the need to increase GST (Goods and Services Tax) from 7 per cent to 9 per cent to remain on "sound fiscal footing".
"This will be done in a fair and progressive manner, and we will help households to cope with this change, especially poorer households," Mr Lee said in the Facebook post.
He also added that last year's Budget surplus meant each Singaporean could have a one-off SG Bonus of between S$100 and S$300 depending on income.
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