Singapore Budget 2016 - Supporting Growth

Singapore’s budget is a diverse model for sustainable growth, focused on developments and investments to ensure the nation flourishes under the global economy. This was highlighted by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance, during the Singapore Budget 2016 speech last Thursday, 24 March 2016.

In his speech a quick recapture of the successful economic developments was made. It was followed by a shift of focus on the future.

Without delving too much into far and distant future perspectives, Mr Heng addressed the shorter term issues and the near term considerations. In his view, there will always be challenges to overcome as to continue to find ways to create opportunities for Singapore to grow and at the same time to build a caring and resilient society. 

In growing the economy, the government will continue to make investments. In light of the global economy, with all the rapid changing developments and the rise of disruptive technologies, the way forward to achieve the objective is to enhance ‘partnerships’. There are a few ‘buzz’ words surrounding this topic of partnerships; collaboration and pooling resources to innovate, scale up and internationalise. In the budget there is a clear message of the delivery and contribution of the government to foster the support of growth. This said, sufficient consideration will be given to not leave individuals behind. On this, partnerships with community groups etc. will strengthened. 

Driving growth through innovation and continuous learning

In the recent years the focus has been on raising productivity. Measures were taken as achieve quality growth. Unfortunately, the measures have yet to lead to the desired outcome. Even with the current difficult local business conditions in the different business sectors and the uneven recovery of the economies in China, US, Europe and Japan there is an expectation for (GDP) growth of 1%- 3% in Singapore. 

The government will undertake the following three actions as to address the challenges:

  • To counter the cyclical weakness, there will be increased spending
  • Strengthening enterprises and industries through the launch of the Industry Transformation Programme and driving growth through innovation
  • Support people through encouraging people to continue learning new skills and if so necessary to adjust to changing environments to stay relevant and/or seek new careers. 

Below we set out some of the most relevant proposals of the tax changes of the Budget 2016. 

Please do let us know, should you require further details on any of the topics covered.