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Budget 2017 – A Quick Summary

February 20, 2017

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat returned to the podium in parliament today, to deliver Singapore’s 2017 Budget and what a budget it was. Read on to find out more!

Income Tax Rebates! And More GST Vouchers To Come!

  • GST VOUCHERS OF $250/$500 will be issued for Singaporeans aged 21 and above with income of $28,000 and below. If you Annual Value of Home falls below $13,000 congratulations you’ll be getting $500 this year, if your home value is $13,001 – $21,000 you’ll be getting $250.
  • Increase GST voucher Usave benefit by $100 – $120 you’ll be getting $220 – 380
  • Income tax rebate of 20% of tax payable capped at $500 will be made available for tax residents of Singapore

For Singaporeans With Families/ Looking To Start A New Family

  • Increased housing subsidies for first hdb home buyers from resale market by up to 20k
  • Improve the accessibility of Pre-schools and increase the number of infant care spaces to 8000 slots by 2020
  • Bursaries to be increased in post-secondary education

Ministries To Have Less Money

  • Permanent 2% downward adjustment to the budget caps of all Ministries and Organs of State from FY2017 onwards (Except for Home Affairs, Defence, Health and Transport)

 Costs Of Water, Electricity And Diesel To Rise

  • Carbon Tax will be implemented from 2019, on greenhouse gases generally applied upstream on power producers etc. at the rate of $10 – $20 per ton of greenhouse emissions This would mean that power production would become more expensive, thus making electricity more expensive.
  • Diesel’s lump sum tax will be reduced, but a volume based duty will be introduced on it, which will mean higher costs at the pump
  • Water prices to rise 30% in two phases starting from 1st july this year, this is the first time prices of water have been revised since 2000
  • Water conservation tax to be added on new water at 10% of water tariff (Industrial Only)

Large Motorcycles To become more expensive

  • Introduce Additional Registration Fee or ARF for larger motor cycles (15% of OMV between $1 – $5,000, 50% of OMV between $5,000- $10,000 and 100% for remaining motorcycle OMV after $10,000)

Increased support for those with disability, are mentally handicapped or have mental health conditions

  • MOH will provide mental health clinics within polyclinics
  • Make more training programs available for the mentally handicapped and add more people to it to help them better integrate into the workforce
  • Set up disabilities caregiver center to provide support
  • Resource more VWOs to setup more community based teams and educate public more about mental health issues and mental
  • Expand number of dementia friendly communities

To Grow The Economy

  • Help businesses and SMEs adopt digital solutions (through a new SME Go Digital program) to help build SME capabilities
  • New SME tech hub to be set up by IMDA providing advice on pre-approved digital solutions
  • Improve data and cyber security capabilities
  • Help companies tap on our R&D through the head start program which will allow SMEs to develop IP with A Star with an extended IP benefit of 36 months instead of 18 Months
  • Help firms scale up globally by developing a smart financing system to help partners scale up and internationalize
  • To address the growing market for infrastructure development in Asia there will be risk sharing between smaller firms and the government

To Train Singaporeans

  • Set up global innovation alliance, to help collaborate with overseas partners
  • Establish Launchpads and Welcome centers in Selected markets (E.g. Beijing, San Francisco and other ASEAN countries) to allow Singaporeans to connect to mentors, investors, service providers and other resources in overseas markets to co-innovate and expand
  • Skillsfuture Funding to continue to be available with union members to get access to more funding

Strengthen Sports, Culture and community

  • Expand Sports in Precincts Program
  • Expand the SportCares Programme, which encourages disadvantaged youth to discover their strengths through sports
  • Top up cultural matching fund
  • Provide up to $50 Million to match donations for sports dollar by dollar

For Businesses

  • Enhanced corporate income tax rebate rising from 30% to 50% of tax payable capped at 25k up from previous 20k
  • SME working capital loan with risk cosharing will be available for the next 2 years
  • In view of continued weakness, levy increases will be deferred in the marine offshore and construction sector for 1 more year
  • Several hundreds of million of construction public projects will be brought forward, including community club upgrades etc.
  • For sectors that are facing weaknesses, introduce specific measures to help specific sectors such as marine offshore and construction.
  • Provide more support for firms providing older workers, raise reemployment age 65 -> 67
    Extend special employment credit to 2019 and receive wage offset for workers who earn under $4000 extend employability of older worker


What do you think about Budget 2017? Tell us what you think in the comment section below![

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Gerry has spent time working in 5 different banks in various capacities, across a range of functions from back to middle and front office. After leaving banking, he spent time working on market research for consumer banking with a focus on the Chinese and Singapore market. He now serves as a home loan consultant and business manager of Easyrates.

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