Singapore Budget Commentary 2015
Analysis and insights on the budget and their implications
The Minister for Finance presented the 2015 Budget on 23 February 2015. Also known as the “Jubilee Budget” on account of Singapore’s 50th year of independence, this Budget focuses on the country’s need to build for the future and strengthen the social fabric.
5 growth clusters of the future were identified, along with a comprehensive and concerted effort under the umbrella ‘SkillsFuture’ initiative for individuals to improve their skills and capabilities and develop their potential to the fullest. Likewise, SMEs will find increased support for their efforts in innovating as well as internationalising their operations.
On the social front, retirement adequacy was further strengthened with the announcement of a host of measures, including tweaks to the CPF system and the introduction of a Silver Support scheme.
Changes to the corporate tax system were generally muted, with extensions announced for major tax incentives for the insurance, maritime and REIT industries. On the other hand, the top-tier personal income tax rate, which has remained static at 20% for close to a decade, was raised by 2 percentage points to 22% to help meet increased expenditure in social spending and major infrastructure projects, but more importantly, to make our tax regime more progressive.
Overall, the Jubilee Budget encapsulates the Minister’s vision of Singapore in the years to come, which was elegantly summed up as a place where meritocracy of skills matter more than a hierarchy of grades earned early in life.