Budget 2016: What Did The Sandwich Class Get?

Everyone must have gotten something right?

I sat through more than 90 minutes of almost nap-inducing Budget announcements, because the first hour was all about money, money and money thrown at companies to be more productive, innovate, automate or upskill.

To cut the chase, everyone gets more, even part of the sandwiched class, in the form of GST Vouchers and S&CC Rebates.

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But if you previously claimed more than $80,000 in personal income tax reliefs (that’s my new 5 year goal), you’ll just have to live with well… the new cap of $80,000 in personal income tax reliefs from 2018 onwards (better claim more these 2 years then!).

If you don’t get anything at all from the Budget 2016, you are still included, albeit in a different way.

You’re not considered a sandwiched class of new parents that are given more government grants the government allowed to spend more of your own money. By the way, parents still get the same amount of grant cap (it’s actually $3000 in your child’s CDA EARLIER, not $3000 more).

You’re not old enough for Silver Support, or do not earn little enough for Workfare (by the way, low wage workers without CPF contributions DON’T even get Workfare), or even qualify for the “last hope” of GST Vouchers like 1.4 million other Singaporeans.

It sucks quite a bit actually, to see everyone else getting something, even your cheapskate boss who is thinking of claiming government grants to pay for his new car and expense the cost under company’s account (well if he gets to work faster than taking public transport, isn’t this considered better “labour productivity”?).

But what if, you’re actually THE DREAM that the government is pinning its hopes on, the future innovator who can cut through unproductive and boring processes that the rest of Singapore is still slogging through?

After all, if you’re paid enough to claim $80,000 in personal income tax reliefs, you should have some managerial experience, or a specialist in a much-needed skill, or whatever it takes to justify your salary (unless you’re an overpaid employee surviving on sucking up to your boss and taking credit for your subordinates’ work).

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If you’re really as good as you are paid to be, you’ll already be thinking of how your company can leverage on the shiploads of billions that the government is throwing at you.

You’ll already be brainstorming on how to multiply and prosper, so that Singaporeans have chances at getting jobs in your cool outfit which creates useful, productive solutions (not ornaments that no one wants), instead of worrying about being retrenched by their outdated employers.

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Even if you really don’t own it legally, a good manager takes ownership of the company’s future, and thinks beyond the tangibles, to dream about the possibilities you can create with your own abilities, or set up your own company if your current employer is meh.

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Come on, the money is already budgeted for you, just go look for a good way to use it quickly (psst…before the government decides that throwing money at companies is a waste of the Budget).

This post was first published on Jules of Singapore.

About the author

Jules Of Singapore

I’m Jules, from Singapore. I live and work here, and although it’s a great place to be, I feel there are many issues swept under the carpet. I’m also hoping to meet other women (and men) who actively want to discuss and further the interests of women who make up half our population, but whose voices are not amplified enough.

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