The recent Budget 2018 Speech laid the ground for a future-ready Singapore as the country tackles a rapidly ageing population and the challenges posed by the age of technology and Industry 4.0. Here are Spurwing’s three key takeaways from the Budget speech:
Healthcare and preparing for a rapidly ageing population were set as top priorities for the Singapore government. Greater investments will be made in infrastructure and medical technologies, while healthcare and social services for the elderly are now consolidated under the Ministry of Health. To manage costs and resources, there is a greater urgency to for more public education campaigns to empower citizens to better self-manage their health and keep them out of hospitals.
The Government did not announce the sugar tax as anticipated. Earlier this year, the Health Promotion Board announced a goal to reduce Singaporeans’ sugar intake by almost a quarter. Continuous dialogue and engagements between the industry and government will help ensure that outcomes are beneficial to all parties especially those of consumers.
Raising of GST taxes
Between 2021 and 2025, GST taxes will increase to 9% from the current 7%. The announcement was made after one of the largest Budget surpluses in history. However, announcing the GST hike three years before the implementation period allows for a long period of socialisation and for the messaging to land.
In similar fashion to previous Budgets, this year’s Budget outlines a moderate and prudent Government that is conscious of the challenges ahead. In line with the theme of "Together, a Better Future", we also foresee greater opportunities for multi-sectoral collaborations between the public and private sectors in addressing those challenges to ensure Singapore's continued success as one of the most competitive, open and innovative economies in the world.