CAPE News Aggregator – Budget 2018

The recent Budget has provided much food for thought – we summarised the key points and provide a few interesting commentaries in our latest newsletter! If you would like to receive these newsletters directly, sign up at https://mailchi.mp/3beee6c63a66/cape-curator ūüôā
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Focused on long term goals, the Singapore Budget 2018 looks at creating revenue for expenditure between 2020-2030, taking into account the rising healthcare and social needs of our ageing population. Growth oriented and adaptive to our global environment, it aims to increase spending on public infrastructure and to help businesses survive in our global landscape via remaining competitive by innovation and providing Singaporeans with trainings and platforms.
However, there are differing stances on the Budget‚Äôs theme. Critics contend that the Singapore government is still not prioritising the actual needs of the population. Why spend on defence when we can, or should, spend on healthcare? Why increase the GST and give us an ‚Äėang pao‚Äô simultaneously?
AT A GLANCE…
  1. TAXES
    1. GST
      1. GST increase from 7 to 9% between 2021-2025, to fund healthcare, security and other social spending. When exactly it would be implemented would depend on the economic climate
        1. Read more here
        2. Opinion article on raising taxes
        3. Donald Low on GST hike
        4. Gillian Koh on political impact
      2. GST to be levied on overseas import services. This affects business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumers (B2C). Ecommerce (e.g. online shopping) remains unaffected.
        1. Read more here
    2. Buyer’s stamp duty
      1. Private property stamp duties to increase to 4% for properties worth more than $1million
        1. Read more here
    3. Foreign Domestic Worker levy
      1. Increased from $265 to $300 for the first worker, and second worker from $265 to $450
        1. Read more here
    4. Tobacco Excise Duty increases
      1. Read more here
2. Businesses and Corporations
  1. In 2018, corporate income tax rebates will be increased to 40% and capped at $15,000. It will be extended to 2019, where corporate Corporate Income Tax rebates would be 20% in 2019, capped at $10,000
  2. Improving skill sets given the increasing digitalisation of our economy
    1. Read more here
3. Conducive society
  1. Housing
    1. Enhancement of Proximity Housing Grant to 4 kilometres instead of the previous ‚Äė2 kilometres or within in the same town‚Äô
      1. Read more here
    2. Tax deduction for every $1 donated to charities to promote donating amongst Singaporeans
      1. Read more here
4. Transport
  1. Expenditure on transport in 2018 to hit record #13.7 billion in lieu of high-speed railway linking Singapore and Kuala-Lumpur
    1. Read more here
5. Environment
  1. Carbon tax introduced
    1. Read more here
6. Goodies
  1. One-time SG Bonus payout of up to $300 depending on their income level
    1. Read more here
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Opinion piece by Teo You Yenn about inequality and the economy as ‚Äėa means to an end‚Äô: Read more here
An anonymous Whatsapp user questions the priorities of the government, stating that the government is neglecting the needs of its citizens (in terms of education, healthcare and a regressive GST), to privilege the upper income earners and foreigners.
Lim Tean argues that the PAP is taking the wrong approach to encourage innovation within our business sectors. He also questions the PAP’s policy on the Central Provident Fund (CPF), and contends that relative to the pension plans of countries faraway and around the region, the Singapore’s CPF policy lacks transparency and fails to fully compensate Singaporeans for contributions over their career. Finally, he (not-so-subtly) attributes the plight of retirees facing financial difficulties to CPF policy.
Commentary: Re-examine our own mindsets even as the Government explains tax hikes Read more here
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