Government’s 2017 Revenue Could Be Higher than Expected: UOB

    The Singapore government’s revenue is expected to have increased 4.1% in 2017 over the previous year, contrary to initial expectations of 1.1% growth.

    BankBazaar Singapore – February 13, 2018

    Singapore: Researchers at UOB has said that Singapore government’s earnings may have grown more than initial expectations on the back on corporate income taxes and a recovery in the property market.

    Early estimates had suggested that the government’s revenue for 2017 would have grown 1.1% over the previous year. UOB expects it to have grown 4.1%, with an additional S$2 billion.

    The government’s estimate of operating revenue for last year was S$69.45 billion. As per this calculation, the biggest contributor to this revenue, corporate income taxes, was expected to hit S$13.6 billion.

    According to UOB, corporate income taxes would have accounted for S$14.8 billion of the revenue, which is over 8% more than what the government estimated.

    Certain additional factors, such as increased real estate transactions may have also contributed to higher revenue. The government may have earned as much as $5 billion from stamp-duty charges, according to UOB, as opposed to an initial estimate of S$2.7 billion.

    Francis Tan, an economist at UOB, pointed out that the initial estimates were made during Budget 2017 and, at that time, the property market remained largely dull and there were no signs of any uptick in prices.

    However, despite expectations of an overall increase in revenue, concerns remain on earnings from personal income taxes and GST. The government’s estimate of GST revenue was S$11.3 billion but UOB expects this to be S$11.02 billion.

    Revenue from personal income taxes was expected to have been S$10.74 billion but the bank suggests it could be lower at S$10.70.

    The government is expected to announce its budget for 2018 early next week.

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