Singapore—Feedback and engagement agency Reach said on Monday (Apr 26) that “a significant number” of Singaporeans who responded to a recent feedback exercise on this year’s Budget wish to have more support from the Government.
Some also expressed concern that extending the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to cheap imports sold online will increase the cost of living.
In a report on the post-Budget poll, The Straits Times (ST) says that respondents are hoping for more support, especially for middle-income families who have children or are supporting the elderly.
More support would help mitigate the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the rising cost if living.
Areas where Singaporeans want additional support include infant care, childcare and education.
However, the majority of respondents said that they have received additional support during the pandemic because of the the Household Support Package.
For this year, the Household Support Package of S$900 million is made up of utility grants, goods and services tax (GST) and cash vouchers, as well as top-ups for the education account of every Singaporean child.
The over 5,000 respondents surveyed across multiple channels were also able to give their own suggestions, including extending childcare leave entitlement for working parents with more children, ST noted.
Key points from the poll:
—Over seven out of 10 respondents supported the announcements from Budget 2021
— Six out of 10 respondents said it increased their confidence in the country’s future
— Six out of 10 respondents also said they support the enhanced SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, which aims to hire 200,000 locals in 2021
— Seven out of 10 respondents said extending wage subsidies for new Singaporean hires until September encourages companies to hire citizens.
ST quotes Reach as saying, “To enhance employability and remain competitive in the job market, some hoped that more quality training and upskilling programmes as well as enhanced training grants could be introduced to encourage more Singaporeans to attend courses to acquire industry-relevant skills.”
However, ST noted that a “significant number” of respondents expressed concern that imposing the GST on low-value imported goods from e-commerce websites, scheduled for 2023, will raise living costs.
Another area of concern is the Singapore Green Plan 2030, with some respondents saying more could be done for the environment—including reducing waste and using more renewable energy sources.