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All indicators pointing to a continuing downward momentum for the economy.

Economic growth fell well below expectations

Budget for FY2009 Key Budget Initiatives

Resilience Package totalling $20.5 billion

  • to save jobs to the maximum extent and help viable companies stay afloat
  • to prepare emerge Singapore with strength when the global economy recovers
  • to enhance capabilities and competitiveness for the long term
  • to help avert an even sharper downturn and prevent permanent damage to economy

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Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam describes Singapore’s economic downturn and global conditions in introducing Budget for FY2009.

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Key Budget Initiatives for businesses and households

$5.1 billion to preserve jobs

  • Jobs Credit – a 12% cash grant on first $2,500 of wages
  • Enhancing SPUR to help PMETs re-train
  • WIS Special Payment to low-income workers

$5.8 billion to stimulate bank lending

  • Bridging Loan Programme to loans of up to $5 million
  • New risk-sharing schemes for trade financing


Tax concessions and measures costing $2.6 billion to ease business cash-flow

To ease business cash-flow

  • 40% property tax rebate for industrial and commercial properties
  • Property tax deferral for land approved for development
  • Loss carry-back relief enhancements
  • Tax exemption of all foreign-sourced income earned
  • 30% road tax rebate for goods vehicles, buses and taxis
  • Waiver of Special (Diesel) Tax for unhired taxis

To strengthen competitiveness and capabilities

  • Corporate Income Tax Rate (CIT) reduction to 17%
  • Accelerated capital allowance for plant and machinery acquired
  • Accelerated write-down of renovation and refurbishment expenses
  • $200 million Test-Bedding Fund
  • $400m top-up to National Research Fund

$2.6 billion additional support to Singaporean households

Direct Assistance to Households

  • Doubling of GST Credits and Senior Citizens’ Bonus
  • 20% personal income tax rebate capped at $2,000
  • 40% property tax rebate for owner-occupied residential properties
  • Additional S&CC rebates for eligible HDB households
  • Additional rental rebates for eligible households in public rental flats
  • Enhanced Additional CPF Housing Grant for first-time home buyers

Targeted Help for Vulnerable Groups

  • Increased Public Assistance rate
  • Increased Singapore Allowance for government pensioners
  • $100m top-up to each of the ElderCare Fund and Medical Endowment Fund
  • Enhanced Financial Assistance Scheme and new Short-Term Study Assistance Scheme for students
  • $10m top-up to the Public Transport Fund

Support for Charitable Giving and the Community

  • Increased tax deduction for donations madeto Institutions of Public Character and other approved institutions to 250%
  • Additional $15m to Government-funded Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs)
  • Increased funding of $4m to self-help groups over two years
  • Increased funding to $7m to the CCC Comcare Fund for the next two years


$4.4 billion construction projects in four areas

  • $1.3 billion of infrastructure projects to be brought forward to 2009
  • $1 billion funding for sustainable development programmes over five years
  • Development of suburban nodes, road and rail networks, drainage and sewerage networks, and public housing estate rejuvenation
  • Upgrade of education and health infrastructure

Budget Position

  • To draw $4.9 billion from past reserves to fund Jobs Credit and the Special Risk-Sharing Initiative.
  • $8.7 billion deficit for revised Overall FY2009 Budget Balance, 3.5% of GDP.

(The Basic Balance, which excludes transfers to endowment funds and contributions from Net Investment Returns, is a deficit of $14.9 billion or 6.0% of GDP.)

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