Singapore Budget 2017 - Moving Forward Together

The Singapore Budget was delivered on February 20, 2017 by Minister for Finance Mr Heng Swee Keat. He highlighted that Singapore should develop strong capabilities in our firms and workers, so we can adapt to the unpredictable changes in the future.

In his speech, he outlines different topics such as strengthening of partnerships across the economy, to maintaining a sustainable foundation for the future generations to prosper in.

In note of the new 'element' in the government's view and approach, there were expectations of some level of follow-up on the recently published report of the Committee of the Future Economy (CFE), and the continued efforts and measures on supporting both Singaporeans and Singapore enterprises to adapt and grow in an ever and fast changing (international) economic landscape.

In addition to the programs to promote the building of core strengths needed for the transformation of Singapore, including SME’s into a more agile, innovative and competitive approach, a hopeful start of having a green touch has been added that is subject to further studies. Furthermore, consultations of carbon tax, and its implementation schedule, will be introduced in 2019. 

In light of what Minister Heng covered in the 2017 Singapore Budget, below are highlights which may be relevant to business in Singapore, and to facilitate both Singapore and Singaporeans to move forward together.

 Measures to support businesses

  • Provide specific support for particular sectors to overcome a cyclical down period 
  • Provide funding for programs for wage support for employers and training for employees
  • Continued measures to support businesses 

Measures to strengthen capabilities of Singapore enterprises by providing support

  • Adopt digital solutions, especially to SMEs
  • Create resources in available research institutes to help innovation
  • Provide funding to co-invest to scale-up and internationalize

 Measures to strengthen capabilities of Singaporeans by providing funding

  • Provide opportunities for Singaporeans to gain international experience, networks and collaborate with counterparts in innovative cities
  • Provide opportunities to Singapore enterprises to grow internationally by grooming them to specialized courses and overseas postings
  • Increase accessibility of training for all Singaporeans

 Measures to sustain quality living environment

  • Proposed implementation of carbon emission tax as a contributor to climate change rising sea levels
  • Introducing a volume based duty on the use of automotive, industrial diesel and the diesel in biodiesel
  • Imposing a Water Conservation Tax

We appreciate your understanding that the above is a brief summary of the Budget Speech 2017 and the tax measures included therein. 

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Tax Measures in Budget 2017

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In view of the increasing cross border trade, we may expect an ongoing study as to gauge the role of tax rates vis-à-vis competitive position of Singapore for direct foreign investments.

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