SINGAPORE: The following are some highlights from Singapore's budget proposals, which put emphasis on measures to tackle the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus on jobs and living costs.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat delivered the budget speech to Parliament on Tuesday. The budget plan comes days after Singapore cut its forecasts for growth and exports in 2020.
SPECIAL PACKAGES WITH TOTAL BUDGET OF S$5.6 BLN:
Proposes two special packages worth a total S$5.6 billion ($4 billion) to help the economy and support workers and households
Proposes Jobs Support Scheme to help companies retain their local workers. For every local worker in employment, 8% of the wages will be offset, up to a monthly cap of S$3,600 for three months.
A separate scheme involves an S$800 million package to fight and contain coronavirus, mainly through additional healthcare funding
BIG BUDGET DEFICIT: Expects an overall budget deficit of S$10.9 billion, or 2.1% of GDP, in FY2020, the highest since at least 2005. It estimated a deficit of S$1.7 billion, or 0.3% of GDP, in FY2019.
CORPORATE TAX REBATES: To grant corporate income tax rebates for 2020, at the rate of 25% of tax payable, capped at S$15,000 per company.
GENERAL SALES TAX: Keeps general sales tax at 7%. Says GST will not take effect in 2021 but it will be needed by 2025.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR CORONAVIRUS-HIT SECTORS
AVIATION: To get rebates on aircraft landing and parking charges, assistance to ground handling agents, and rental rebates for shops and cargo rebates at Changi airport. Changi airport to get 15% property tax rebate
TOURISM: To get a property tax rebate of 30% for the year 2020, for the accommodation and function room components of licenced hotel and services apartments and prescribed meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions venues. Integrated resorts to get 10% property tax rebate
FOOD SERVICES AND RETAIL BUSINESSES: Commercial establishments in these industries will get a 15% property tax rebate for qualifying commercial properties.
CLIMATE CHANGE: Unveils plan to set up a new coastal and flood protection fund, with an initial injection of S$5 billion, to help protect Singapore against rising sea levels.
ELECTRIC VEHICLES: To enhance incentives to encourage the adoption of cleaner and more environmentally friendly vehicles.
Buyers of fully electric cars and taxis will receive a rebate of up to 45% on the additional registration fee, capped at S$20,000. The incentive will be implemented for 3 years, from January 2021.
More deployment of electric vehicle chargers in public car parks in partnership with the private sector. Aims to deploy up to 28,000 chargers at public car parks, up from the current 1,600 charging points available across Singapore. - Reuters
Did you find this article insightful?
100% readers found this article insightful