Budget 2018: More goodies for businesses, yet Singaporeans upset

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has just started delivering his Budget 2018 speech in Parliament and there are already plenty of angry emoticons spotted on the Facebook LIVE broadcast.

Year after year, Singaporeans would be expecting goodies from the Government. They only want to hear good news and look out for what’s in it for them.

Experts have speculated that the Budget for 2018 is likely to be pro-business, focusing on economy restructuring and transformation.

This means that there would be more help for local businesses to innovate, go digital and venture overseas.

There will also be some near-term help for under-performing industries like construction and the offshore and marine sectors.

True enough, there is plenty of help for businesses this year.

Minister Heng just announced the following:

  • Wage Credit Scheme extended for 3 more years
  • Corporate Tax rebate raised to 40% of tax payable
  • Foreign worker levy rates for Marine Shipyard and Process sectors deferred for another year
  • More wage support for the Place-and-Train programme
  • Work Trial scheme to be upgraded into a Career Trial programme
  • Help firms buy new productivity solutions
  • Raise tax deductions on licensing payments for IP
  • Govt to pilot Open Innovation Programme
  • New investment venture to groom start-ups based on IP created from publicly-funded R&D in SG
  • New Aviation Transformation Programme, Maritime Transformation Programme and expand the National Robotics Programme
  • Integrated Enterprise Development Grant
  • Enhance Double Tax Deduction for Internationalisation
  • Set up an Infrastructure Office to bring together local and international firms

These measures may not impact Singaporeans directly but they will help give a leg up to local SMEs to survive and thrive in a digital economy.

When businesses do well, it will boost the strength of our economy and in turn, lead to better job opportunities for Singaporeans.

A poor economy benefits no one.

Would you rather give a man a fish and feed him for a day or teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime?

The same theory applies to jobs.

Would you rather give money and help people get by day to day or provide good jobs that offer stability?

The Chinese characters of 經濟 (“economy” in Chinese) is also used in a Chinese phrase 民.

The phrase means that if a country is managed well, it will save the lives of its people.

So if you’re upset that the Budget 2018 has “nothing” for you, don’t be because you’ll eventually benefit from the overall improvements in the country.

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