Breaking down Budget 2020: A helping hand for the present and future
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat unveiled the Budget in Parliament yesterday with measures to deal with challenges such as the coronavirus outbreak and long-term economic development. Here is a quick breakdown
For households during coronavirus outbreak
Up to $300
- Singaporeans aged 21 and older will receive a one-off cash payout of $100, $200 or $300 – depending on their income last year and home ownership – this year
- Parents with one or more Singaporean children aged 20 and younger this year will each get an extra $100 in cash.
- Singaporeans aged 50 and older this year will receive a $100 top-up to their PAssion cards.
- Singaporeans aged 21 and older who live in one- or two-room Housing Board flats and do not own more than one property will receive $100 in grocery vouchers this year and next year.
- All eligible HDB households will also get double their regular GST Voucher – U-Save rebate in the 2020 financial year, which ends in March 2021, through a one-off special payment.
- Eligible households with five or more members will receive an extra rebate which means they will receive 21/2 times their usual rebate.
- Eligible Singaporean households in HDB flats will also receive rebates to offset between 11/2 and 31/2 months of service and conservancy charges over the year.
For senior citizens
- Basic Retirement Sum (BRS) to increase by 3 per cent for the next two cohorts.
- Minimum retirement amount for those turning 55 in 2021 and 2022 will be $93,000 and $96,000 respectively.
- Lower- to middle-income Singaporeans aged 55 to 70 who do not have the necessary BRS will have their CPF Retirement Account top-ups matched dollar-for-dollar up to an annual cap of $600, from 2021 to 2025.
- For lower-income seniors, quarterly cash payouts will be increased by 20 per cent from January 2021. For those living in smaller flats, payouts will increase from $750 to $900 for each quarter.
- Eligibility criteria for Silver Support will be expanded.
- Income ceiling for the additional subsidy for pre-school and Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme raised to $12,000 a month.
- Support for pre-school children to be doubled from $1 billion in 2018 to over $2 billion a year over the next few years.
- The Ministry of Education Financial Assistance Scheme annual bursary quantum for pre-university students will be raised from $900 to $1,000.
- Full-time Institute of Technical Education students from low- and middle-income households will see an increase in bursary quantum of up to $200 a year.
- Students from lowest income tier households will receive full subsidy of school fees and cash bursary.
HELPING WITH CASH FLOW
- Corporate income tax rebate at the rate of 25 per cent of tax payable, capped at $15,000 for each company, will be granted for the tax year of assessment 2020.
- The rebate will benefit all tax-paying companies.
- Several tax treatments under the corporate tax system will also be enhanced for one year to ease cash flow for companies.
HELPING TO DEFRAY WAGE COSTS
- Two schemes – the new Jobs Support Scheme and Wage Credit Scheme – which will be enhanced will help support enterprises. They will also help workers stay employed as part of a larger $4 billion Stabilisation and Support Package.
- Government will offset 8 per cent of Singaporean and permanent resident employees’ wages, capped at $3,600 for each employee monthly, for three months.
- Monthly wage ceiling will be raised from $4,000 to $5,000 for qualifying wage increases in 2019 and 2020.
- Co-funding levels will be increased by five percentage points to 20 per cent for 2019 and 15 per cent for 2020.
HELPING THOSE MOST AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK
- 30 per cent property tax rebate for this year for some components of licensed hotels and serviced apartments, as well as prescribed meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions venues.
- 15 per cent property tax rebate for international cruise and regional ferry terminals.
- 10 per cent property tax rebate for the integrated resorts.
- $112 million Aviation Sector Assistance Package to also provide relief to companies affected by the outbreak.
- Rental waivers for hawkers operating in National Environment Agency-managed hawker centres and markets and commercial tenants of government agencies.
- 15 per cent property tax rebate to those operating in qualifying commercial properties. Landlords are urged to pass the rebate on to their tenants.
- The Tote Board and Government will provide $200 million to the Community Capability Trust in FY2020 and match up to $150 million in funds raised over the next 10 years, for the social service sector.
- $750 million to the ElderCare Fund.
- $500 million to the ComCare Fund.
- $200 million to the MediFund.
For the environment
- Coastal and Flood Protection Fund will be set up with an initial injection of $5 billion.
- HDB flats will also have a new Green Towns Programme, to reduce energy consumption, recycle rainwater, and cool the towns.
- Government aims to phase out all vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2040.
- Rebate of up to 45 per cent on the additional registration fee for those buying fully electric cars and taxis. This will start from January next year, for three years.
- By 2030, the Government aims to deploy up to 28,000 public charging points for electric vehicles, up from 1,600 currently.