On 18 February 2019, the Minister of Finance, Mr. Heng Swee Keat delivered the Singapore Budget 2019 in Parliament. In this year’s budget, he focuses on getting companies to deepen their capabilities, encouraging strong partnerships within Singapore and across the world such as mastering new digital technologies and innovations. He also aims in investing in education and help Singaporean workers upgrade new skills in order to remain employable and competitive in the changing times and the healthcare needs in particular the less well-off and the aging population.
The key measures unveiled in this year’s budget are:-
– Implementation of Innovation Agents Programme;
– Expansion of SMEs Go Digital Programmes;
– Enhancement to Enterprise Development and Productivity Solutions Grants
– Extension of SME Working Capital Loan Scheme and Written Down Allowances to cover IPRs acquired up to YA 2025;
– Extension of tax exemptions and concessions for S-REITs, REITs ETFs and specified income of Singapore-Based fund managers;
– “Merdeka Generation” healthcare package for Singaporeans to keep the elderly active and healthy;
– Bicentennial bonus for Singaporeans;
– Topping-up of Edusave, lower-income CPF and MediSave accounts; etc.
The Finance Minister expects that FY2019 budget will result in an overall
budget deficit of S$3.5 billion, or 0.7 per cent of GDP. However, he has
indicated that there is no need to draw on past reserves as there are sufficient
fiscal surplus accumulated over this term of Government to fund the overall
deficit in FY2019.
Overall, this year’s budget offers a broad range of measures for SMEs to
transform and prepare for the future, the elderly and the lower-income groups
while keeping an eye on the longer term needs.