Singapore government to pay S$700m ‘SG Bonus’ to taxpayers Singapore government to pay S$700m ‘SG Bonus’ to taxpayers

Singapore government to pay S$700m ‘SG Bonus’ to taxpayers
12 Mar 2018

One of the highlights of Singapore's 2018 budget is an 'SG Bonus', which will see part of the expected 2017 budget surplus of S$9.6 billion (US$7.3 billion) shared with Singaporeans aged 21 or over.

According to Channel News Asia, each citizen will receive S$100 (US$76) to S$300 (US$228) this year depending on their income, in a pay-out that is expected to cost the government S$700 million (US$530 million).

But at the same time, Member of Parliament (MP) Heng Chee How warned about the dangers of a rising tax burden being created by a diminishing local workforce and growing older population.

"The shrinking working population and companies will shoulder an increasingly heavy tax burden to support the reducing tax contribution from the senior population as they leave employment and as they incur higher living expenditures linked to ageing," he said.

This meant the statutory retirement age would be increased to introduce the notion of re-employment, with the re-employment age ceiling raised from 65 to 67 in July last year.

"The longer our mature citizens can remain employed and earning, the more they can help contribute to tax revenue and pay for their own needs, delaying and reducing the need for younger citizens and companies to have to chip in," Heng said.

MP Liang Eng Hwa also expressed hope that the government would do more to redistribute its budget surplus as part of Singapore’s social compact.

"Besides helping to mitigate the impact of the GST [goods and service tax] and rising costs, it can also to help manage the income disparity that we see widening in our society," he said.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

One of the highlights of Singapore's 2018 budget is an 'SG Bonus', which will see part of the expected 2017 budget surplus of S$9.6 billion (US$7.3 billion) shared with Singaporeans aged 21 or over.

According to Channel News Asia, each citizen will receive S$100 (US$76) to S$300 (US$228) this year depending on their income, in a pay-out that is expected to cost the government S$700 million (US$530 million).

But at the same time, Member of Parliament (MP) Heng Chee How warned about the dangers of a rising tax burden being created by a diminishing local workforce and growing older population.

"The shrinking working population and companies will shoulder an increasingly heavy tax burden to support the reducing tax contribution from the senior population as they leave employment and as they incur higher living expenditures linked to ageing," he said.

This meant the statutory retirement age would be increased to introduce the notion of re-employment, with the re-employment age ceiling raised from 65 to 67 in July last year.

"The longer our mature citizens can remain employed and earning, the more they can help contribute to tax revenue and pay for their own needs, delaying and reducing the need for younger citizens and companies to have to chip in," Heng said.

MP Liang Eng Hwa also expressed hope that the government would do more to redistribute its budget surplus as part of Singapore’s social compact.

"Besides helping to mitigate the impact of the GST [goods and service tax] and rising costs, it can also to help manage the income disparity that we see widening in our society," he said.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance business journalist. Her work has appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Guardian, the Times, Forbes and the BBC.

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