The Singapore Budget 2016 was presented on 24 March 2016 (2016 Budget).

Here are some of the highlights.

a. Enhancements to Workfare – the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme will be enhanced to continue to encourage workers aged 35 years old and above to join the workforce.  The enhancements include:

  • increasing the qualifying income ceiling from SGD 1,900 to SGD 2,000
  • Increasing the WIS payouts (according to the age and income of the worker)
  • Simplifying the qualifying criteria for WIS

b. Personal Income Tax Relief – personal income tax relief will be capped at SGD 80,000 per year of assessment.

c. Silver Support Scheme – payouts of between $300 and $750 per quarter will be given to seniors who meet 3 eligibility criteria (contributions to CPF, housing type, and household support).  These payments are intended to supplement the retirement incomes of senior citizens who may not have sufficient resources for retirement due to various reasons.

d. Support for Persons with Disabilities at Work – the WorkfareTraining Support Scheme will be expanded to enable persons with disabilities who earn low wages and who are under 35 years old, to be eligible.

download: budget initiatives for households

a. Corporate income Tax Rebate – the Corporate Income Tax (CIT) rebate will be increased from 30% to 50% of tax payable, capped at SGD 20,000 each year of assessment 2016 and 2017.

b. Special Employment Credit (SEC) – the SEC will be modified and extended till end 2019.  The SEC provides a wage offset for Singaporean workers aged 55 and above earning up to SGD 4,000 per month.  The wage offset will be

  • up to 3% of monthly wage (for workers aged 55 to 59)
  • up to 5% of monthly wage (for workers aged 60 to 64)
  • up to 8% of monthly wage (for workers aged 65 and above) + additional 3% until the re-employment age is raised in 2017

c. Foreign Worker Levy – changes are:

  • Marine Sector – levy increases deferred by 1 year
  • Process Sector – levy increases deferred by 1 year
  • Manufacturing Sector – levy will remain unchanged for 1 year
  • Service Sector (WP  Holders) – levy increases
  • Construction Sector (WP Holders) – levy increases

d. Industry Transformation – a new Industry Transformation Programme has been introduced to raise productivity in selected sectors.  Specifically, a new Automation Support Package will provide support for companies who are keen to explore the use of technology and automation to grow and expand.  Under the scheme, employers can get a grant of up to 50% (capped at SGD 1 mil) for qualifying projects.  SPRING Singapore will also help smaller companies access loans for automation equipment, and take on a larger share of the risk.

download: budget initiatives for businesses