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LIVE UPDATES: Singapore Budget 2024

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong said the budget is the "first instalment of the plans set out in the ForwardSG roadmap."

Singapore Business Review is tracking developments from Singapore’s 2024 budget statement live as they are announced by Finance Minister Lawrence Wong. 

In a Facebook post, Wong said the budget is the "first instalment of the plans set out in the ForwardSG roadmap."

“It is a Budget to keep Singapore moving forward, equip our citizens to realise their fullest potential and give more assurance to our families and seniors amidst a more troubled world,” he wrote.

The formal presentation of the budget kicks off at 3:30 pm today, 16 February. Follow us live!

RECAP: Singapore 2023 Budget

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3:05 PM

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong arrives at the Parliament House.

3:31 PM

Wong delivers the budget for the financial year from 1 April 2024 to 21 March 2025.

FISCAL 2023 OVERVIEW

  • Singapore expects an economic growth of 1%-3%.
  • “We are cautiously optimistic that 2024 will be a better year," -Finance Minister Lawrence Wong
  • In 2023, inflation started to moderate but economic growth also slowed as a result, real incomes declined.
  • Spending has increased to 18% of GDP. By 2023, spending will increase to 20% of GDP.
  • In 2023, revenue collection was higher due to higher corporate income tax.
  • Singapore expects to end FY23 with a deficit of $3.6b or 0.5% of GDP.
  • For FY24, Singapore is budgeting a small surplus of $0.8b or 0.1% of GDP.

AI AND NEW TECHNOLOGIES

  • The government aims to enable mass market access to broadband speed of up to 10 gigabits per second.
  • Singapore to invest over $1b over the next five years into AI computing, talent and industry development. 
  • Singapore to collaborate with companies around the world to establish AI Centres of Excellence

AID & CHARITIES

  • Government to extend the Charities Capability Fund collaboration grant by three years until FY2026.
  • Singapore will introduce an Overseas Humanitarian Assistance Tax Deduction Scheme which will provide 100% tax deductions for cash donations made towards overseas emergency humanitarian assistance causes through designated charities. The scheme will run for four years as a pilot. 

ARTS AND SPORTS

  • The government will invest $100m over the next four years to support the SG Arts Plan.
  • The government will provide a $20m top to its One Team Singapore Fund which will be extended until FY2027.

BEPS 2.0

  • SIngapore to move ahead with the implementation of the two components of BEPS Pillar 2 as planned in January 2025. These components are the Income Inclusion Rule (IIR) and the Domestic Top-up Tax (DTT).

COST-OF-LIVING SUPPORT

  • The government will provide $600 in CDC vouchers for all Singaporean households. The first $300 will be released in June and the remaining will be given out in January 2025. 
  • Singaporeans ages 21 and above who have an assessable income of not more than $100k and do not own more than one property will receive one-off cash support between $200 and $400 in September 2024.
  • The total amount of the assurance package will be $1.9m.
  • HDB households can receive 2.5 times rebates or $950 in the financial year 2024. This will cover up to four months of utility bills (3 and 4-room flats)
  • To support less well-off families, the government will partner with corporations and community groups to implement ComLink+ Progress Packages.
  • Singapore to spend around $5b on Forward Singapore policy moves in FY24.

ENERGY TRANSITION

FORWARD SINGAPORE

  • “We aim to give more assurance to help more Singaporeans navigate the uncertainties in today’s world.”
  • Singapore to spend around $5b on Forward Singapore policy moves in FY2024.

GREEN LOANS

  • The government will extend the enhanced support for green loans under the Enterprise Financing Scheme and expand its scope to help more SMEs adopt green solutions.
  • The government will enhance the Energy Efficiency grant to more sectors including manufacturing, construction, maritime,  data centres and their users.

HEALTHCARE

  • Government to provide all Singaporeans aged 21-50 a one-time MediSave bonus of up to $300. The bonus will benefit 1.4 million Singaporeans.
  • Per capita household income thresholds for healthcare and associated social support subsidy schemes like the MediShield Life Premium subsidies, Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidies for primary care and subsidies for outpatients and inpatient treatments at public hospitals, to be updated. The government will spend an additional $300m per year due to these changes.

INVESTMENTS

  • Introduction of the Refundable Investment Credit to support high-value and substantive economic activities.
  • Singapore will top up the National Productivity Fund by $2b.
  • Financial Sector Development Fund to be topped up by $2b.
  • The government will invest a further $3b in Research, Innovation and Enterprise 2025 (RIE2025)

REAL ESTATE

  • Singapore to raise AV bands of the owner-occupier property tax rates with effect from 1 January 2024. Government to raise the lower threshold from $8,000 to $12k. The high bands will be adjust from over $100k to over $140k.
  • Government to adjust the ABSD. Single Singapore citizens aged 55 and above will be able to claim a refund of ABSD paid on their replacement private property. 
  • ABSD clawback rate to be lowered should developers sell at least 90% of each development within the prescribed sale timelines.

SECURITY AND DEFENCE

  • Government to provide $200 in the form of  LifeSG credits for past and present national servicemen, including those enlisting in 2024.
  • Tackling cybersecurity, Wong said the government will establish a National Cyber Security Command Centre at Punggol Digital District.

SINGAPORE WORKFORCE

  • Data scientists and digital marketers are now in demand. 
  • The government will introduce a new SkillsFuture Level-Up programme for mid-career workers.
  • Singapore to top up the SkillsFuture Credit of Singaporeans aged 40 and above by $4,000 starting May.
  • The government will give subsidies to Singaporeans aged 40 and above who plan to pursue another full-time diploma  (AY 2025 onwards) at Polytechnics, ITE, and Art institutions.
  • Singapore will provide a monthly training allowance to those who enrol in selected full-time courses for those aged 40 and above. The allowance will be equal to 50% of one’s average income over the latest 12-month period, capped at $3,000 per month.
  • Wong announces that the government will introduce a temporary financial support scheme for the involuntarily unemployed workers. The government will provide more details on the scheme later this year.
  • Workfare Income Supplement scheme to be enhanced in 2025. Qualifying income cap to be raised from $2,500 to $3,500.
  • Workforce payouts to be raised. Low-wage senior worlds will qualify for a maximum annual payout of $4,900 from $4,200.
  • The government will also raise the local qualifying salary (LQS) to $1,600 from $1400 for full-time workers. Minimum hourly rate from $9 to $10.50 per hour.
  • To help employers, the government will raise the co-funding levels of the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme (PWCS) from a maximum of 30% to a maximum of 50%.
  • PCWS wage ceiling will be raised from $2,500 to $3,000 in 2025.
  • The government will top up the PWCS by $1b.
  • For ITE graduates aged 30 and below, the government will launch a new ITE Progression Award, under which the government will provide a $5,000 top-up to the Post-Secondary Education accounts of ITE graduates then they enrol in a diploma programme. A further $10,000 top-up will be given to the accounts of these individuals upon completion of the diploma.

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

  • The government will introduce an Enterprise Support Package which will provide $1.3b in support for companies. 
  • The government will receive 50% corporate income tax rebates capped at $40k in the year of assessment 2024.
  • The government will also provide a minimum benefit of 2,000 in cash payout for companies which employed at least one local employee in 2023.
  • The government will exchange the Enterprise Financing Scheme. The maximum working capital loan quantum will be permanently raised to $500k. 
  • The enhanced maximum trade loan quantum will be extended until 31 March 2025.
  • The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit will be extended by a year to 30 June 2025.
  • For young seniors (early 50s and early 60s), the government will boost its Majulah Package. The government will provide an Earn and Save bonus, to help seniors earning up to $6,000 per month accumulate more retirement savings. The government will also provide a one-time retirement savings bonus of between $1,000 to $1,500 to seniors with retirement savings below the basic retirement sum. The bonus will apply to seniors living on a property with an annual value of $25,000 or less and own no more than one property. 
  • The government expects 1.6 million Singapore to benefit from the Majulah Package at a total lifetime cost of $8.2b.
  • Singapore extends CPF transition offset for another year to cover half of the increase in employer contributions for 2025. 

SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES

  • Singapore will reduce monthly childcare fee caps in government-supported preschools in 2025 to $640 for Anchor Operators and $680 for Partner Operators. In 2026, Singapore will further reduce fee caps.
  • The government will enhance preschool subsidies for lower-income families.
  • Government to top up Edusave Endowment Fund by $2b.
  • The government will provide a PPHS (Open Market) voucher for one year.
  • Maximum monthly fees of special education schools will be reduced to $90 from $250.
  • Fee caps at all Special Student Care Centres to also be lowered.

SUPPORT FOR SENIORS

  • The government will increase the CPF contribution rate for Singaporeans aged 55-65 by 1.5 percentage points in 2025.
  • Singapore will enhance the Enhanced Retirement Sum (ERS) from 2025. ERS is the maximum amount that members can put into their CPF account to receive payouts. 
  • The government will increase the ERS from 3x the basic retirement sum to 4x in 2025. ERS next year will be $426k.
  • Singapore will close Special Accounts (SA) of those 55 and above next year. Funds under the SA will be transferred to the retirement account up to the full retirement sum. The remaining SA savings will be transferred to the ordinary account.
  • The government will raise the qualifying per capita household income threshold for the Silver Support from $1.800 to $2,300 and will increase quarterly payments by 20% to keep pace with the inflation.
  • Matched Retirement Savings Scheme will be extended to those above age 70. The government will also increase the annual matching cap from $600 to $2,000 and set a lifetime matching cap of $20k.
  • Young seniors living in a property with an annual value of $25k or less and own no more than one property will also receive a $1,500 one-time bonus into their CPF accounts. Other seniors will receive $750. 
  • Government to set aside $3.5b for AgeWellSG initiatives over the next decade. Efforts include Active Aging Centres and Community Care Apartments.

5:12 PM

Wong ends the budget speech. 
 

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