ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Budget 2016’s targeted approach is good, but there’s a catch

It still lacks specifics, analysts say.

Experts lauded Budget 2016’s more targeted approach at helping companies ride out the economic downturn, but cautioned that it remains to be seen how the new policies will be implemented in practice.

“The budget has a lot of specific, targeted schemes. It’s a lot of difficulty getting money out of the government for specific applications so I think jury’s still out on how this will work in practice,” said Shanker Iyer, FCCA, Chairman, Iyer Practice Advisers, speaking at the Singapore Business Review’s Budget Breakfast Briefing 2016.

Anuj Kagalwala, Asset & Wealth Management Tax Leader at PwC Singapore, added that while the Budget was less broad-based compared to previous years, it is still not as specific as it can be.

“I think it was not as targeted as we want it to be. The budget was very good on headlines, but lacks specifics,” he said.

Despite these concerns, the Budget’s targeted approach will still go a long way in helping enterprises combat the downturn.

“The key message that struck me was the theme of partnership; partnership between the government, the people, and businesses. It is no longer a top-down, or bottom-up approach, and neither is it private or public [centred]. It is now more in terms of a collaboration and partnership efforts,” said Lee Tiong Heng, Tax Partner, Deloitte Singapore.

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