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What support measures can businesses expect from the Budget 2024?

An economist believes the budget will focus on enhancing workforce productivity.

The government will likely focus on labour policies in the Budget 2024 “to elevate the productivity and competitiveness of Singapore’s workforce.”

According to UOB Senior Economist Alvin Liew, the government may introduce further incentives to encourage workers to equip themselves with knowledge and skills in digitalisation, artificial intelligence and the green transition.

Liew believes the government will top-up the annual SkillsFuture Credit, which is funded via a capped co-matching scheme with employers or training allowances for mid-career workers to take time off to pursue full-time, longer-form courses.

There is also a likelihood that the government will enhance the co-funding share under the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme (PWCS) for 2024-2026, said Liew.

Jester Koh, UOB  associate economist, said the government may also raise the Local Qualifying Salary (LQS).

Lastly, the economists predict an additional one-off Central Provident Fund (CPF) transition offset to mitigate the impact on business costs from the upcoming scheduled increases in the CPF monthly salary ceiling to $8K by 2026.

Apart from enhancing workforce productivity, the economist also believes the budget will focus on cost-of-living measures to help the lower- and middle-income households cope with the recent 1%-pt GST increase and rise in public transport and utility costs.

To support households, UOB said the government will likely enhance the cash payouts or U-save utility rebates under the existing AP alongside a possible one-off cost-of-living special cash payment in FY24. 

There can also be additional CDC vouchers for each Singaporean household or one-off top-ups to PSEA/Edusave/CDA accounts.

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