“Budget 2018 is a strategic and integrated financial plan to build us a better future together,” said Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong in a Facebook post today while giving his reaction on the Government’s budget which was presented by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in Parliament yesterday.
“For a vibrant and innovative economy, our businesses need to grow. The government will support businesses to innovate and build capabilities through grants and help firms grow and internationalise. We will continue to help firms and workers develop digital capabilities and skills to adapt to the digital economy,” said PM Lee, speaking about wholehearted government support for building businesses in Singapore.
Showing concern for the environment, PM Lee wrote, “For Singapore to become a smart, green, and liveable city, we need to reduce our carbon footprint. The new carbon tax will be SGD5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, to encourage industries and consumers to cut back on emissions.”
The Prime Minister also referred to the steps taken in the Budget for the betterment of seniors. He wrote, “To better look after our seniors as they age, a new Silver Generation Office will help to coordinate the social and health-related services for seniors.”
“Government spending will rise, especially in healthcare, infrastructure, and security. While we are on sound fiscal footing, we must plan ahead to ensure that we can always afford to spend what we need,” said PM Lee about government's spending.
Referring to the proposed increase in GST, he said, “The Government plans to increase GST from 7 per cent to 9 per cent sometime between 2021 to 2025. This will be done in a fair and progressive manner, and we will help households to cope with this change, especially poorer households.”
He also spoke about the surplus budget of Singapore whose fruit will be shared with every Singaporean. PM Lee said, “Last year, we had a better-than-expected surplus. Each Singaporean aged 21 and above receive an SG Bonus of SGD100-SGD300 depending on income, as we share the fruits of Singapore's prosperity.”