The Singapore Budget was first delivered in 1965 by Finance Minister Lim Kim San where development and job creation were the key focuses. Due to careful budgeting, Singapore has been fortunate to record more surpluses than deficits in the past 50 years. This year, SG Budget 2017 is delivered by Finance Minister Heng Swee Kiat with a focus on building skills and capacity to bring our economy to the next frontier.
While one of the main focus is about helping Singapore firms cross borders and become more digitalised, the government has not forgotten about Singaporeans.
Families have always been at the top of mind of Singapore policy makers due to an ever decreasing birth rate, and the same goes for the planning for Singapore budget 2017. Families are one of the main beneficiaries with measures such as increase in grant for first time HDB flat buyers, more infant care centres, and other smaller rebates to help Singaporean cope with the increase in expenses. We are going to discuss each and every one of them in the article below.
Budget 2017 for First-time home buyers: More subsidies when purchasing a resale flat
First time home buyer?
Buying a resale flat?
If your answer to both questions above is a resounding yes then you have a huge reason to jump for joy now! In Budget 2017, the grant given to this group of home buyers have increased significantly, and with immediate effect!
For those who don’t know, currently, first-time home buyers that are looking at resale flats are eligible for three types of grants (up to $90,000) — CPF Housing Grant ($30,000), Additional Housing Grant (AHG) (up to $40,000) and Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) ($20,000).
Additional Housing Grants are a scheme created to help middle income families better afford housing by providing a grant value that’s tied to their income level. You and spouse will qualify for it if the average monthly household income over 12 months are $5000 or lesser.
Proximity Housing Grant on the other hand, are created to help families or singles who wish to purchase a resale flat that’s near to their aging parents’. You and your spouse will qualify for it if the flat you are aiming for is within 2km of your parents’ home.
This will change in 2017 onwards as the total grant will now increase (up to $110,000) due to an increase in the CPF Housing Grant from $30,000 to $50,000 for 4-room flats and $30,000 to $40,000 for 5-room flats.
Here’s what our Minister for National Development Mr Lawrence Wong said in his Facebook post “This will help those who wish to live near their parents in mature estates where there are fewer BTO projects, or those who wish to move into their own homes quickly to start a family. Together with existing measures, a couple can potentially get up to $110k in grants to buy their first flat!”
Here’s a quick glance in the grant changes.
Infant care centres will increase by 100% by 2020.
In order to help families with two working parents, the Government has committed to increase the number of infant care from the current 4,000 to 8,000 by the end of 2020.
This is in line with a previous effort by the Government to increase the number of quality child cares in Singapore. This effort should help more young parents improve their consideration of having a child in Singapore.
Rebates for personal income tax
Taxpayers will receive a 20% rebate in personal income tax for earnings in 2016, and will be capped at a maximum of $500.
GST U-Save voucher rebates continues
If you have been on social media lately, you will have probably seen the uproar over the 30% increase in water prices. This has led to a permanent increase in GST U-Save vouchers to help families cope with the hike — increases ranges from $40 to $120, depending on your flat size.
A $200 payment will be given to individuals who are aged 21 years old and above and earns less than $28,000 last year.
What we are covering here mainly focuses on how the Singapore Budget 2017 has brought about certain changes for families and Singaporeans in general. But that’s not all that the Budget 2017 has to offer, so be sure to visit the website https://www.gov.sg/microsites/budget2017 and look at all the measures for yourself!