SINGAPORE: As he announced this year’s National Budget in Parliament on Friday (Feb 16), Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong expressed cautious optimism that the coming year will be better as inflation lowers and Singapore can expect economic growth between one and three per cent.

“SGBudget 2024 is about taking steps to build our shared future together,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. The Budget is aimed at doing the following:

  • Tackle challenges for households and businesses
  • Pursue better growth and jobs
  • Create paths for equality and mobility
  • Provide assurance for families & seniors
  • Forge a strong & united nation

First, he said the Assurance Package will be enhanced by S$1.9 billion, including S$600 in two tranches in CDC Vouchers for 1.4 million households. The first will be given out in June, the second by January next year.

Next is a Cost-of-Living Special Payment of between S$200 and S$400 in cash, to be given out in September to Singaporeans aged 21 and above who live in Singapore, own not more than one property, and have an assessable income of up to S$100,000. Around 2.5 million Singaporeans will benefit from this.

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Mr Wong also underlined the uncertainty of the global situation and said that the government will safeguard Singaporeans’ future in the face of these uncertainties.

“Let me assure everyone, we will always have your backs,” he said.

Acknowledging the challenges of higher costs of living, Mr Wong pledged greater support for households, particularly those with lower incomes, and to help those with children and seniors.

Read related: Singaporeans may receive more cash payouts in Budget 2024: Economists

DPM Wong also announced up to S$950 in U-Save Rebates for 950,000 Singaporean HDB households with increases in their utility bills. These will help those who live in three and four-room flats and will be given out in April, July, and October of this year and then in January 2025, covering around four months of utility bills.

Finally, Mr Wong said there will be up to four months of S&CC (service and conservancy charges) Rebates to be given to more than 950,000 Singaporean households.

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Earlier, he said on a Facebook page that this year’s Budget would “keep Singapore moving forward, equip our citizens to realise their fullest potential and give more assurance to our families and seniors amidst a more troubled world.” /TISG

Read also: More cash payouts may be coming in Budget 2024 — Yet another chief economist predicts