Budget Schemes and Measures that make the difference to Singaporeans
The first Budget speech was made by the late Mr Lim Kim San in December 1965.
Throughout the years, many Budget schemes and measures have come and gone to help make Singapore a better place to live, work and play in.
Coming up with Budget schemes and measures take a lot of research and discussion which goes on behind the scenes.
Budget schemes and measures usually are premised on helping to create a positive and significant impact to businesses and the lives of Singaporeans every day.
Here are 5 schemes that have been in place to positively impact Singaporeans livelihoods in the past few years:
1. Workfare Income Supplement
Workfare rewards work and encourages up-skilling by supplementing the incomes and retirement savings of older lower-wage Singaporean workers.
The WIS scheme was introduced in 2007. Changes were introduced to the scheme in 2016.
2. Special Employment Credit
The Special Employment Credit was introduced to encourage employers to hire Singaporeans aged 55 and above, and earning up to $4,000 a month by offering wage offsets of up to 8% of the employee’s monthly wages.
The scheme was introduced in 2011 and was extended to end of 2019 after the re-employment age was increased to 67 from 1 July 2017.
3. Special CPF Housing Grant
The grant was introduced in 2011 to help low-income families make a first-time purchase of a Build-to-Order flat, on top of the existing Additional CPF Housing Grant.
Low-income citizen families with a monthly income ceiling of $2,250 can get a maximum grant quantum of $20,000.
4. Capability Development Grant
The Capability Development Grant (CDG) is designed to help Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) build their capabilities across 10 key business areas for productivity and business model expansion.
The grant covers up to 70% of the qualifying project costs such as consultancy, training, certification and equipment costs.
The grant was extended to 31 March 2018 during Budget 2015.
5. GST Voucher
This is perhaps the most popular amongst the many schemes that have been introduced over the years. The permanent GST Voucher (GSTV) was introduced in 2012 to help lower-income Singaporeans cope with the Cost of Living.
It is given in three components – Cash, Medisave and U-Save. All in all, around 1.57 million Singaporeans and 880,000 HDB households benefit from this scheme.