ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

This is what SMEs really want for Budget 2016

Extend the PIC scheme, policymakers urged.

Small and medium enterprises want increased government support and easier access to funding in Budget 2016, according to the pre-2016 Budget Survey by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The top wish among SMEs is the extension of the Productivity & Innovation Credit Scheme beyond year of assessment (YA) 2018, with 81.8% of respondents supporting this measure.

Meanwhile, 71.1% of respondents want the government to adjust foreign worker policies according to the needs of industry sectors, while 70.3% of enterprises demand that foreign worker levies be freezed.

Other top wishes include speedier government processes to ease cash flows of SMEs, as well as providing employers with subsidies such as medical & insurance coverage for older workers.

"With the support of government funding, business has made strong effort in their transformation either at company level or at sector level. However, the transformation has reached a stage that government needs to align their policy and collaborate even more broadly with the business, especially via the trade associations. This will ensure that business cost can be managed and government programmes can be integrated with the business needs,” said SCCI President Thomas Chua.

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