Singapore’s Budget to focus on job creation and skills development Singapore’s Budget to focus on job creation and skills development

Singapore’s Budget to focus on job creation and skills development
13 Feb 2018

In the lead-up to its Budget announcement on 19 February, Singapore’s government has indicated that supporting young families and pre-school education will remain a priority.

Another key focus in this year’s Budget will be on building more supportive communities to help the elderly.

But Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah also told MoneyFM radio during a live interview that it would take a “strategic approach” to jobs and underlined the government’s desire to encourage workers to retrain and learn new skills.

“Many people think of technology as doing away with jobs, but there’s a flip side, which is that technology is creating jobs as well, and it’s also revolutionising industries,” she said. “But in order to access the new jobs and in order to be part of the revolutionised industries, you have to have the capability and ability to deal with technology.”

Rajah has also been weighing up the best way to implement an ecommerce tax. “It’s certainly something we would like to do, but we have to be careful about how we do it because we’ve seen some other countries where they implemented it and then had to dismantle it because it didn’t work out quite well,” she said.

According to The Straits Times, Rajah made the DJ laugh when she added: "So keep shopping while you can.”

Singapore's ecommerce sales are poised to hit $10 billion (US$7.4 billion) by 2020, according to BMI Research.

The government’s interest in introducing a tax here is not new. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in last year’s Budget that it was working out ways to cash in on what is a rapidly growing sector.

During an interview with Bloomberg in November, Rajah hinted that ecommerce would probably come under the local tax regime in the near future to level the playing field with rival bricks and mortar retailers.

Gill Oliver

Gill Oliver is a business and property journalist who has written for The Daily Mail/Mail Online's This is Money, The Press Association and many national and regional newspapers and magazines.

In the lead-up to its Budget announcement on 19 February, Singapore’s government has indicated that supporting young families and pre-school education will remain a priority.

Another key focus in this year’s Budget will be on building more supportive communities to help the elderly.

But Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah also told MoneyFM radio during a live interview that it would take a “strategic approach” to jobs and underlined the government’s desire to encourage workers to retrain and learn new skills.

“Many people think of technology as doing away with jobs, but there’s a flip side, which is that technology is creating jobs as well, and it’s also revolutionising industries,” she said. “But in order to access the new jobs and in order to be part of the revolutionised industries, you have to have the capability and ability to deal with technology.”

Rajah has also been weighing up the best way to implement an ecommerce tax. “It’s certainly something we would like to do, but we have to be careful about how we do it because we’ve seen some other countries where they implemented it and then had to dismantle it because it didn’t work out quite well,” she said.

According to The Straits Times, Rajah made the DJ laugh when she added: "So keep shopping while you can.”

Singapore's ecommerce sales are poised to hit $10 billion (US$7.4 billion) by 2020, according to BMI Research.

The government’s interest in introducing a tax here is not new. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in last year’s Budget that it was working out ways to cash in on what is a rapidly growing sector.

During an interview with Bloomberg in November, Rajah hinted that ecommerce would probably come under the local tax regime in the near future to level the playing field with rival bricks and mortar retailers.

Gill Oliver

Gill Oliver is a business and property journalist who has written for The Daily Mail/Mail Online's This is Money, The Press Association and many national and regional newspapers and magazines.

Leave a Reply

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing