On the back of an economic slow-down made worse by the Covid-19 virus epidemic, this year's budget was highly expected to give a significant boost to the ailing Singapore economy. And with the largest budget deficit in ten years of S$10.9B, it can be said that this was what it sought out to do.
A summary of the measures can be found in the table below (source : Ministry of Finance) :
Apart from the belated "ang bao" ($100-$300 cash) to every Singaporean,the following three initiatives in the Budget are of the greatest impact to businesses:
1. Sending Coal In The Midst of Harsh Winter (雪中送炭)
The businesses hit by the ongoing epidemic are largely in tourism, food & beverage and transport industries. So it is heartening to see the Budget giving relief to these sectors through the following measures :
Although rental and property tax rebates does not seem like much compared to an outright cash rebate, it is still some measure of relief to affected businesses..
2. Other Band Aids
There are also other measures tailored to support workers and enterprises :
These measures are also expected to help alleviate cash flow issues faced by businesses.
3. Seizing Opportunities
Chinese believe that there is opportunity in a crisis ("危机") and Singapore is sizing up opportunities arising from the following trends :
While it's true that some of the measures are not as significant when compared to those implemented during the SARS crisis, this is a reflection that the current crisis is not considered to be as bad as SARS, Should this not be the case, the G has reserved enough gas in the tank to implement more measures.