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[Liveblog] Singapore Budget 2021: Live Coverage, Realtime Updates And Commentary

Stay tuned for our live blog. Singapore Budget 2021 Statement will be delivered by Deputy Prime Minister & Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on 16 February 2021, 3 pm.


The Singapore Budget 2021 Statement will be delivered by Deputy Prime Minister & Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on 16 February 2021, 3 pm.

This page will be updated periodically, so watch this space for the latest announcements and updates of the Singapore Budget as it happens, along with our real-time commentary on the potential effects it carries for Singapore and Singaporeans.


Singapore Budget 2020 Liveblog

3:00pm: Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has started delivering his Budget 2021 statement.

Without the previous year’s support measures, Singapore’s budget would have shrunk 12.4%. Instead, Singapore’s economy only contracted by 5.4 percent in 2020.

Recovery will depend on how the global pandemic situation plays out. Herd immunity will take time and if new infectious strains become dominant, new rounds of vaccination will be needed.

Singaporeans need to work together to emerge stronger together

COVID-19 Resilience Package

3:09pm: Recovery is uneven and measures will be implemented support the needs of different groups.

$11 billion will be set aside for the COVID-19 Resilience Package to support Singaporeans, workers and sectors under stress

Public Safety and Safe Reopening

Protecting Singaporeans is key and vaccinations are underway. Safe distancing, contact tracing needs to continue. $4.8 billion of these $11 billion will be dedicated to public health and safe reopening measures.

Extension of Job Support Scheme

Workers will continue to be supported. As expected, Job Support Scheme will continue for sectors that are hard hit.

Firms in Tier 1 sectors – aviation, tourism and aerospace will receive 30% support for wages paid from April 2021 to June 2021, and 10% support for wages paid from July 2021 to September 2021.

Those in Tier 2 sectors, such as retail, arts, food services and built environment, will receive the JSS at 10 percent for three months, covering wages paid up to June 2021. This excludes segments like supermarkets.

For those in Tier 3A, JSS will continue covering wages up to March 2021.

The JSS extension will cost S$700 million.

Targeted support for specific industries

3.15pm: Aviation section will receive an additional $870 million in support

COVID-19 Driver Relief will be extended and $133 million will be set aside to fund this.

$45 million support for Arts and Culture is also set aside and details will be announced later.

3:20pm: Singapore is part of the global economy and the pandemic has accelerated global trends. This year’s support will focus on structural changes to prepare Singapore for the future.

Restructuring For The Future

$24 billion will be allocated for businesses to transform for the future.

Restoring Changi Airport’s connectivity will be a priority to position our aviation sector for Recovery. Private-public partnerships are in place to invest in on-arrival testing and biosafety systems.

3:26pm: 3 platforms will be introduced to lift Singapore’s business innovation capabilities

New Corporate Venture Launchpad pilot to drive new innovative ventures.

Open Innovation Platform to support firms develop innovative solutions.

Global Innovation Alliance to link Singapore to other countries’ innovation hubs

To help business commercialise the fruits of their innovations, Singapore is developing our IP capabilities. IPOS will announce Singapore Intellectual Property Strategy 2030.

3:31pm: Southeast Asia’s Growth Potential

Singapore will continue to deepen partnerships with our regional neighbours.

Southeast Asia Manufacturing Alliance to promote network of industrial parks.

Singapore’s Business Federation will be opening 2 overseas office in Jakarta and Ho Chi Minh to support Singapore business to expand into Southeast Asia.

3:33pm: Singapore is deepening our relations with our immediate neighbours with business and digital connectivity.

Support For Promising Enterprises And Entreprise Transformation

3:35pm: Government will extend financial liquidity to business and risk-share to enhance investments in new and emerging technologies and companies. Extension of grants for enterprises including StartupSG, Entreprise Development Grant, Productivity Solutions Grant.

Enterprise Financing Scheme – Venture Debt scheme will be extended and enhanced. Loan quantum cap will be increased to $8 million.

New Emerging Technology Programme will be introduced to support the adoption of new technologies.

$1 billion will be set aside.

3:39pm Co-funding ratio for Productivity Solutions Grant – Job Redesign will be increased from 70% to 80% to help companies redesign jobs to keep up with the emerging trends.

$1 billion to be co-invested with Temesek ($500 million from the Government) to support Large Local Entreprises (LLEs) to develop further

More support will be given to support transformation of entire value chains, with the Growth and Transformation Scheme. Built Environment sector will be the first to start.

Jobs and Employment Will Need To Develop With New Skills

3:46pm: Jobs and Skills Package: 76,000 people placed last year. Additional $5.4 billion to extend the J&S package. $5.2 billion allocated to JGI. 200,000 workers are expected to benefit from this. Mature workers, people with disabilities and ex-offenders will receive additional support.

SGUnited Skills, Traineeship and Midcareers will be extended. 35,000 traineeship and training opportunities to be created.

Salaries of nurses and healthcare workers will be enhanced.

3:49pm: Cybersecurity, Deep Tech will be new focus areas to drive innovation

3:53pm: Focus on Singaporean workers. Wage Credit Scheme will be extended for a year with co-funding of 50%.

The Capability Transfer Programme has facilitated 40 projects to support skills transfer to local workers. This will be extended to 2024.

3:55pm: Need to moderate reliance on foreign manpower

Sub-DRC for manufacturing to be reduced in 2 steps: 18% from 1 Jan 2022, and to 15% from 1 Jan 2023

Strengthen Our Social Fabric

4:00pm: Singapore Together Alliances for Action, or AfAs will be a key approach to forging partnerships to tackle complex issues. AfA to be created to support caregivers.

Household Support Package

All Singaporean eligible for GST-Cash will receive an additional $200 next year. Those households eligible for GST-USave will receive additional rebates of 50%, between $120 and $200. S&CC rebates of 1.5 to 3.5 months will be given as well for HDB households

Additional top-ups of $200 CDA/EduSave/PSEA for children on top of existing top-ups

$100 CDC vouchers per household that can be spent on participating hawkers and retailers.

Support For Lower Income And Groups With Additional Needs

4:05pm: Expansion of Progressive Work Model. Details to be announced later

Inclusive Support Programme pilot for the integration of early intervention and early childhood services for children who require early intervention support.

Senior Worker Support Package: increase of budget by $200 million for Senior Worker Early Adopter Grant and the Part-time Re-employment Grant.

4:08pm: Comlink which supports lower income households living in rental flats to be expanded nationally to cover 14,000 households over the next 2 years. Further details to be provided by MSF

Charitable Giving

4:13pm: 250% tax deduction for eligible IPC donations extended to end of 2023. Support for dollar-for-dollar matching for eligible charities under Tote Board’s Enhanced Fund-Raising Programme will be extended for a year.

ComChest SHARE As One matching period extended to 2023.

$20 million set aside for new Change for Charity grant to encourage businesses to include charitable giving element.

Business and IPC Partnership Scheme to be extended to 2023.

4:18pm: $3 match for every dollar raised for community development. CDCs will share further details. A total for $50 million will be set aside for this under CDC’s Care and Innovation Fund.

Singapore’s Green Plan 2030

4:20pm: Singapore will continue its efforts in climate change.

Singapore Green Plan 2030 launched last week to chart Singapore’s sustainable future. Cross-government efforts in urban sustainable development are underway.

Agri-food will be a development area and $60 million will be set aside to grow our agri-food sector under the Agri-Food Cluster Transformation Grant

Incentivising Adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs)

Early adoption of EVs will be incentivised with additional funds and reduction in road tax. $30 million over 5 years for EV related initiatives. 60,000 EV charging points will be rolled out.

Petrol Duty rates will be raised with immediate effect, by 15 cents per litre for premium petrol and 10 cents per litre for intermediate petrol.

To ease the transition, 1 year road tax rebates will be given for the different vehicle types.

Active Private Hire Drivers and Taxi Drivers will be given petrol rate rebates to offset the changes.

Green Finance As An Enabler

4:33pm: Issuance of green bonds on selected public infrastructure projects. $19 billion of public sector green projects have been identified.

GreenGov Initiatives will be announced in COS.

Carbon Tax will be maintained for 2021 to help tide through these trying economic period but will be reviewed in the future.

Enterprise Sustainability Programme will be introduced to help SMEs adopt sustainability initiatives.

4:39pm Building a Green Singapore will take effort from everyone: public, private and individuals.

Balanced Budget And Tax Changes

4:40pm: Running a budget deficit last year has allowed Singapore to respond decisively but there is a need to return to balanced budget.

Of the $52 billion drawn, only $42 billion was utilised last year.

COVID-19 Resilience Package in 2021 to be drawn from past reserves.

$11 billion for FY2021 and $42 billion for FY2020, total draw on past reserves will up to $53 billion.

Healthcare expenses have tripled from FY2010 to FY2019. Increasing needs of our population have increased the recurrent spending needs, even before COVID-19.

GST rate will NOT increase in 2021, but will have to be implemented between 2022 and 2025 to support the recurrent spending needs.

$6 billion set aside for Assurance Package to delay the impact of the future GST increase and ease the transition.

The top 20% has contributed 56% of taxes while receiving 11% of the benefits while bottom 20% paid 9% of taxes and received 27% of the benefits.

4:50pm: GST will be extended to lower value goods imported from overseas from 1 January 2023. This will help maintain the competitiveness of local businesses.

4:53pm Government will issue a new bonds to finance long-term infrastructure projects, under the proposed Significant Infrastructure Governement Loan Act (SINGA). This will be tabled in Parliament in 2021. Projects will include new MRT lines. A limit of $90 billion for borrowing will be set as a safeguard.

4:58pm: $11 billion deficit or 2.2% of GDP is expected for FY2021. For FY2020, the overall budget deficit was $64.9 billion or 13.9% of GDP.

Minister concludes his speech.

 


Watching The 4th Singapore Budget Statement 2020

Those who are interested to catch Minister Heng’s supplemental Singapore Budget 2020 speech with us can do so via the following platforms:

– Television: Channel NewsAsia and Channel 5
– Radio: CNA938, Capital 958
– Mobile App: Mediacorp’s MeWatch (on iOS and Android)
– BrowserCNA website8 World NewsmeWATCH
 Facebook: CNA, 8 World News
Youtube: CNA Youtube, 8 World News Youtube

Singapore Budget 2021 Pre-Reading List

2020 has been an eventful year with the global (ongoing) COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant economic recession. The Singapore government responded with 4 Budgets and 1 Ministerial Statement, dipping into past reserves to mitigate the impact on Singapore.

In total, Singapore drew on $92.9 billion from past reserves for the four budgets: the annual Budget and the additional Solidarity, Resilience and Fortitude budgets, as well as the Ministerial Statement.

Singaporeans received a generous broad-based support through the Care and Support Package with cash payouts to all Singaporeans. Lower income households received additional support through the Workfare Special Payment as well as grocery vouchers and larger GST vouchers and Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) rebates.

On the employment front, the government introduced a slew of measures to cater to every group. Self-employed individuals received help through the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS). Employers and employees received help through the Job Support Scheme and new hires were encouraged by the Jobs Growth Incentive.

Fresh graduates and those looking for employment had help from the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package which covered the spectrum of traineeships, job opportunities and training support, including SGUnited Traineeship, SGUnited Midcareer Pathway Programme and SGUnited Skills Programme.

In the initial period of the pandamic, the government introduced the Temporary Relief Fund & COVID-19 Support Grant to help those who suffered from the immediate impact of the pandemic. This was later transitioned to the COVID-19 Recovery Grant to help those still reeling from the impact.

To help those who are facing cashflow issues during the pandemic, the government introduced payment deferral measures for loans and insurance premiums. The government also stepped in with measures to ensure that retrenchments were a last resort and issued retrenchment guidelines and support for the retrenched.

Singapore Budget 2020 was an unprecedented Budget year and the decision to dip into past reserves resulted in many measures to shield Singaporeans from the worst of the economic impact of the pandemic. Singapore Budget 2021 will be a rare year where the government has to start the year with a budget deficit while the world still deals with the ongoing pandemic.

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