Singapore Budget 2018: What it Means for You

    The Singapore Budget 2018 was presented in the parliament on 19 February by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. Among the many announcements made, here are the 5 key announcements that may affect ordinary Singaporeans.

    Bankbazaar Singapore – February 21, 2018

    Singapore: On Monday, 19 February, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat made several announcements during his Budget speech, which will impact the average Singaporean. Here are 5 highlights of this Budget.

    • Since the government expects an overall surplus of S$9.6 billion for the 2017 financial year, all Singaporeans above the age of 21 will now receive a one-off “SG Bonus”. This bonus will be based on an individual’s income and ranges from S$100 to S$300.
    • The government also plans to increase the goods and services tax (GST) to 9% from the current rate of 7%. This increase will be implemented in a progressive manner between 2021 to 2025. The government, however, will continue to absorb the GST on subsidised healthcare and education.
    • Commencing from 1 January 2020, GST will have to be paid by customers who buy services from suppliers who do not have establishments in Singapore. This new e-tax tax will be levied on business-to-business as well as business-to-consumer services. It will not, however, affect e-commerce portals that cater to online shopping.
    • In a move to reduce over reliance on maids and to ensure that the demand for foreign domestic workers (FDW) corresponds to the need for them, adjustments have been made to the FDW Levy framework. Starting from 1 April 2019, the monthly levy for the first maid employed without any levy concession will be raised to S$300 from S$265. The monthly levy for the second maid employed without concession will be increased by S$185. The current levy concession of S$60 will be retained, but the qualifying age will be raised to 67 years from the current 65.
    • With immediate effect, the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) will be enhanced. Singles who buy a Housing and Development Board (HDB) resale flat to live near (within 2 to 4 kilometres) their parents will be given a grant of S$10,000, while those who decide to buy a flat and live with their parents will be granted S$15,000. Families who buy a flat to move in with their parents or to live with their married children will now receive S$30,000 from the present S$20,000.

    This budget looked at addressing short-term business concerns as well as laying the foundation for long-term changes.

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