In his Budget Statement on Tuesday (Feb 18), Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that, after reviewing Singapore’s revenue and expenditure projections, and considering the current state of the economy, he had decided that the GST rate increase will not take effect in 2021.
While he initially announced in 2018 that GST will be raised by two percentage points, to 9 per cent, sometime from 2021 to 2022, he said that it will be subject to review.
Mr Heng, who noted that “we will not be able to put off the increase indefinitely”, said that the Covid-19 outbreak had reinforced the importance of continued investment in the country’s healthcare system, and that Singapore will still require recurrent sources of revenue to fund the recurrent spending needs in the medium term.
He said, however, that the Government will assess carefully the appropriate time for the increase and will provide Singaporeans sufficient lead time.
He also announced a Care and Support Package to help households with the cost of living.
“The less well-off will get more help,” he said. /TISG
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