Commenting on the Budget 2018 in his Facebook page, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that the budget is a strategic and integrated financial plan to build us a better future together.
“What does it mean for business? For a vibrant and innovative economy, our businesses need to grow,” PM Lee wrote.
He stressed that the Government will support businesses to innovate and build capabilities through grants and help firms grow and internationalise.
“We will continue to help firms and workers develop digital capabilities and skills to adapt to the digital economy,” he added.
He then stated that for Singapore to become a smart, green, and liveable city, the country need to reduce the carbon footprint, noting that the new carbon tax will be $5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions to encourage industries and consumers to cut back on emissions.
GST increase due to profligate spending and irresponsible, unsustainable plans
In his Facebook post, PM Lee wrote, “To better look after our seniors as they age, a new Silver Generation Office will help to coordinate the social and health related services for seniors,” and noted that the Government spending will rise, especially in healthcare, infrastructure, and security.
He wrote, “While we are on sound fiscal footing, we must plan ahead to ensure that we can always afford to spend what we need.”
Addressing the Government plans to increase GST from 7% to 9% sometime between 2021 to 2025, PM wrote, “This will be done in a fair and progressive manner, and we will help households to cope with this change, especially poorer households,”
Back in Sept 2015 during the General Election, PM Lee said that the PAP would be “mad” to raise taxes just because it had garnered a certain percentage of the votes. This is in response to Workers’ Party chief Low Thia Khiang’s comments at a rally that the PAP could change “its mind anytime”. Mr Low raised the possibility of an increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) after PAP wins the election.
Speaking at the ruling party’s headquarters, PM Lee said: “I think it’s a strange psychology to think that this is a government which is only dying to do bad things to people… Do we look like that?
He said, “Raising, adjusting taxes is a very big decision. You consider it carefully, you discuss it thoroughly, and you do it only when you absolutely have to.”
He added, “What will make you need to raise GST? Profligate spending and irresponsible, unsustainable plans. That is what will hurt and require you to raise taxes and GST.”
Citizens reminded of the “hong bao”
On a sweet note, PM Lee reminded citizens in his Facebook post on Tuesday that each Singaporean aged 21 and above will receive an SG Bonus of $100 – $300 in 2018, depending on their income due to better-than-expected surplus in last fiscal year,