Singapore Budget 2019: FY2019 budget position expansionary, with basic deficit of S$7.1b

SINGAPORE'S 2019 Budget position remains expansionary, with a basic deficit of S$7.1 billion, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Parliament on Monday.

For FY2018, the government expect an overall budget surplus of S$2.1 billion, or 0.4 per cent of gross domestic product. This is a S$2.7 billion increase from the S$0.6 billion deficit forecasted a year ago.

"This was due to the unexpected two-year suspension of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail Project and higher than expected Stamp Duty collections,'' Mr Heng said.

"When we exclude the Government's top-ups to funds and Net Investment Returns Contribution from past reserves, we expect a basic deficit of S$7 billion, or 1.4 per cent of GDP. FY2018 was hence an expansionary budget,'' the minister said.

For FY2019, ministries' total expenditures are expected to be to S$80.3 billion, 1.6 per cent higher than in FY2018.

"We are setting aside funds to meet Singaporeans' long-term needs, including S$6.1 billion for the Merdeka Generation Package and S$5.1 billion for long-term care support. On the whole, we expect an overall budget deficit of S$3.5 billion, or 0.7 per cent of GDP," Mr Heng said.

"We have sufficient fiscal surplus accumulated over this terms og government to fund the overall deficit in FY2019. There is no draw on past reserves,'' he added.

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