BankBazaar Singapore – January 2, 2018
SINGAPORE: In a press release issued in public interest on 1 January, the Ministry of Finance (MOF), Singapore Government, has notified that the budget for the year would be unveiled by Heng Swee Keat, Finance Minister, in Parliament on 19 February 2018.
The statement further highlighted that budget proceedings would be televised live for the public. A radio coverage of the budget will also be aired simultaneously. It added that a live webcast will be made available for public viewing on the Budget Website of the Ministry of Finance.
The MOF press release also informed that the official budget statement for 2018 would be uploaded once the budget speech has been delivered.
This comes in the backdrop of the public announcement made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong last November asking the country to be prepared for tax hikes, necessitated by efforts to increase public spending on infrastructure and social welfare.
According to a November report cited by Yahoo Finance, Irvin Seah, senior economist DBS, has forecasted a possible upward revision in the goods and service tax rate by two percentage points, from the current 7% to 9% over the next two years. This could be announced in the upcoming budget.
Experts like Seah believe that the increase in GST and other public taxes have been necessitated by the primary balance deficit registered by the country in the last three consecutive years.
For better reflection of the popular public sentiments in this year’s budget and to give the public a platform to voice its concerns, the government has decided to hold a live Pre-Budget Facebook Question & Answer session between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on 4 January 2018.
The government has urged the citizens to participate in the session available on REACH’s Facebook page and provide feedback, essential for better representation of the public demands in the budget statement.
Members of the public have been encouraged to share their views and suggestions through various feedback channels and platforms including the Singapore Budget Website and the Listening Points organised by REACH. The feedback exercise would end on 12 January 2018.