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The Singapore Budget of the year 2019 is recently most talked about and if you’re too busy to read all about it, here’s a simplified version of it.

The Budget 2019, in brief, is Building A Strong, United Singapore with a strategic plan to allocate resources. There are FIVE points to focus on:

 

A Safe and Secure Singapore

A Vibrant and Innovative Economy

A Caring and Inclusive Society

A Global City and Home for All

A Fiscally Sustainable Future

A Safe and Secure Singapore

Singapore has always been a safe country but you can never be too safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry. To provide a safe and secure home for all of us, the government will invest significantly on new Home Team Science & Technology Agency and the Total Defence will have Digital Defence as its sixth pillar.

A Vibrant and Innovative Economy

Good news for SMEs and start-ups! We’re transforming our economy to ensure that firms and employees are competitive and relevant. There will be programmes. schemes, and funds to support the enterprise capabilities. A lot of the budget will be invested to help the working people of Singapore to progress and create better opportunities in

Here are the plans for building deep enterprise capabilities:

SCALE-UP SG PROGRAMME
A new programme to help high-growth local firms innovate, grow, and internationalize

INNOVATION AGENTS PROGRAMME
Pilot for enterprises to tap on experienced industry experts for advice on innovation and commercialization opportunities

SME CO-INVESTMENT FUND III
$100 million investment by Government to catalyze private sector funding in SMEs that are ready to scale up

ENTERPRISE FINANCING SCHEME
Streamlining of existing financing schemes to better support SMEs to access bank financing
Enhanced support for companies incorporated for less than five years
Extension of enhanced support for working capital to support SMEs, until 31 March 2021

SMES GO DIGITAL PROGRAMME
Expansion of Industry Digital Plans to more sectors and more choices of pre-approved digital solutions

DIGITAL SERVICES LAB
Pilot programme to address digitalization challenges in services sectors, through collaboration with industry and research partners

AUTOMATION SUPPORT PACKAGE
A two-year extension to support businesses in deploying impactful and large- scale automation technologies (until 31 March 2021)

ONE-STOP PORTAL FOR FIRMS TO TRANSACT WITH GOVERNMENT
The launch of a pilot portal for the food services sector, to streamline regulatory touch-points with Government, from up to 14 to 1

In terms of promoting opportunities for employees:

NEW PROFESSIONAL CONVERSION PROGRAMMES
Support for mid-career professionals to enter new growth areas, e.g. blockchain, embedded software development, and prefabrication

CAREER SUPPORT PROGRAMME
A two-year extension to provide wage support for companies that hire Singaporeans who are mature and retrenched, or in long-term unemployment (until 31 March 2021)

SUSTAINING OUR EFFORTS TO RESTRUCTURE
Two-step reduction of Services Sector Dependency Ratio Ceilings (DRCs)✤ Defer earlier announced increase in levy rates for Marine Shipyard and Process sectors for another year

ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT GRANT (EDG)
Include positive outcomes for workers, e.g. wage increases, for all EDG- supported efforts starting from 1 April 2020
Three-year extension (until 31 March 2023) of enhanced support level of up to 70%, in view of foreign workforce policy changes

PRODUCTIVITY SOLUTIONS GRANT
Three-year extension (until 31 March 2023) of enhanced support level of up to 70%, in view of foreign workforce policy changes
Expand scope to also support out-of-pocket cost for training, capped at $10,000

LOCAL ENTERPRISE AND ASSOCIATION DEVELOPMENT (LEAD) PROGRAMME
Help for key Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) to adopt more strategic and longer-term plans to drive industry transformation

FRAMEWORK FOR SECURE EXCHANGE OF ELECTRONIC TRADE DOCUMENTS
Achieve productivity gains from digitalizing trade documents and secure exchange of electronic trade documents

CENTRES OF INNOVATION IN AQUACULTURE AND ENERGY
Translate research into deployable solutions to create economic opportunities and improve resilience in food supply and energy

GLOBAL READY TALENT PROGRAMME
Support for sending young Singaporeans on local and overseas internships Support for sending Singaporeans for overseas job postings

HOST SINGAPORE WEEK OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY (SWITCH) AND SINGAPORE FINTECH FESTIVAL (SFF) TOGETHER
Enhance Singapore’s position as an innovation node through bringing together start-ups and investors
Hold SWITCH and SFF in the same week in mid-November

A Caring and Inclusive Society

To make sure all Singaporeans of all demographics to be taken care of and concern of their well-being. Providing support through different stages of life but implementing access to opportunities, greater healthcare assurance, with more help for the less advantaged.

We will be celebrating and honoring our bicentennial by:

BICENTENNIAL COMMUNITY FUND
$200 million funds to provide dollar-for-dollar matching for donations made to Institutions of a Public Character (IPCs) from 1 April 2019 until 31 March 2020, with a cap

BICENTENNIAL BONUS
For lower-income Singaporeans
• Up to $300 in GST Voucher — Cash (Bicentennial Payment) for 1.4 million Singaporeans
• Workfare Bicentennial Bonus: 10% of total WIS payouts for work done in 2018 in cash, with minimum payout of $100
For income earners
• 50% personal income tax rebate, capped at $200, for Year of Assessment 2019
For parents with school-going children
• $150 top-up to Edusave accounts for all students at primary and secondary levels
• Up to $500 top-up to Post-Secondary Education Accounts for Singaporeans aged 17 to 20 (who do not already receive Edusave top-up)
For older Singaporeans
• $300 to $1,000 in CPF top-ups to eligible1 Singaporeans with lower CPF balances

Merdeka Generation Package (MGP)
$6.1 billion set aside in Merdeka Generation Fund to cover the lifetime benefits of the Merdeka Generation

PASSION SILVER CARD TOP-UP
One-off $100 top-up to support active lifestyles MEDISAVE TOP-UPS
$200 per year from 2019 to 2023 SUBSIDIES FOR OUTPATIENT CARE
Special subsidies at CHAS GP and dental clinics, higher than CHAS Blue subsidy rates
Additional 25% off subsidised bills at polyclinics and public Specialist Outpatient Clinics

CARESHIELD LIFE PARTICIPATION INCENTIVE
Additional participation incentive of $1,500 for joining CareShield Life
Together with $2,500 incentive announced earlier, MG seniors will receive a
total of $4,000 in participation incentives if they join CareShield Life

To greater healthcare assurance for all of us:

ENHANCED COMMUNITY HEALTH ASSIST SCHEME (CHAS)
Extend CHAS to all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income ✤ Extend subsidies for common illnesses to citizens with CHAS Orange card
Increase subsidies for complex chronic conditions
FINANCIAL PROTECTION FOR LONG-TERM CARE
Put $5.1 billion into a new Long-Term Care Support Fund
Help Singaporeans with long-term care, e.g. CareShield Life premium subsidies
and participation incentives, ElderFund
FIVE-YEAR MEDISAVE TOP-UPS
$100 MediSave top-up per year (from 2019 to 2023) for citizens born in 1969 or earlier, and do not receive Merdeka or Pioneer Generation benefits

To have a community that cares and contributes

COMCARE LONG-TERM ASSISTANCE
Higher cash assistance rates for those permanently unable to work and have little family support

STRENGTHENING PHILANTHROPY AND VOLUNTEERISM — SG CARES
Nurture youth multipliers in IHLs to give back to the community
Encourage senior volunteerism for a more purposeful retirement
Strengthen culture of care and contribution within the Public Service through Public Service Cares

UPLIFTING PUPILS IN LIFE AND INSPIRING FAMILIES TASKFORCE (UPLIFT)
Strengthen after-school care and support for disadvantaged students in school-based Student Care Centres

ENHANCED WORKFARE INCOME SUPPLEMENT (WIS)
Increase wage support for almost 440,000 Singaporeans

SPECIAL EMPLOYMENT CREDIT & ADDITIONAL SPECIAL EMPLOYMENT CREDIT
Extend for one year until 31 Dec 2020 to encourage employers to hire older Singaporean workers

SERVICE & CONSERVANCY CHARGES (S&CC) REBATE
930,000 households to receive 1.5 to 3.5 months of rebates PUBLIC TRANSPORT FUND
Top up $10 million to help lower-income families with transport expenses

A Global City and Home for All

A movement to connect Singapore to the world while ensuring the environment is sustainable

ENHANCING CONNECTIVITY
Increasing the capacities of our airport and seaport will strengthen our role as a key node within Asia and to the world

RESTRUCTURING DIESEL TAXES
Reduce Special Tax for diesel vehicles
Increase diesel excise duty by $0.10 per litre, to $0.20 per litre

A Fiscally Sustainable Future

To prepare us for the future with a fair, progressive, and pro-growth system of tax and transfers.

ENSURE RESILIENCE OF TAX SYSTEM
Reduce GST import relief for travellers
Reduce alcohol duty-free concession for travellers from 3 litres to 2 litres

BUDGET POSITION
FY2018: Overall budget surplus of $2.1 billion (0.4% of GDP)
FY2019: Overall budget deficit of $3.5 billion (0.7% of GDP)

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