Live updates of Budget 2024

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Ashley Tan | February 16, 2024, 03:37 PM



In case you didn't know, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong will be delivering Singapore's 2024 Budget Statement today (Feb. 16) at 3:30pm.

In a recent Facebook post, Wong described this year's Budget as "the first instalment of the plans set out in the ForwardSG roadmap".

"It is a Budget to keep Singapore moving forward, equip our citizens to realise their fullest potential and give more assurance to our families and seniors amidst a more troubled world," he said.

Keep an eye on this page for the most pertinent updates in real time.

5:15pm: DPM Wong concludes his Statement

Wong concluded his Budget Statement by commenting on the unpredictable nature of the world now.

"We are living in a world which will become more violent, more fragmented and more unpredictable in the years to come. We wish this were not so. We will try our best working with others in the international community to shape better global outcomes. But we also have to be realistic. Great catastrophes often seem unthinkable until they happen things may well get worse before they get better. So let us be mentally prepared and take steps now to adapt to this messy world," he said.

He also emphasised the importance that Singapore stay united.

Wong shared that Singapore is not the only country adapting to a different world and looking for solutions to "implement bold and long term plans".

"But we can make it happen in Singapore. We are able to do so because our fiscal position is healthy and sustainable. Our government has the trust of Singaporeans. Our people are united and our social compact is strong," he said.

Parliament will adjourn to Feb. 26.

5:12pm: Property tax changes

To support seniors who wish to right-size, the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) concession for Singaporean married couples will be extended to single Singapore citizens aged 55 and above.

These seniors will be able to claim a ABSD refund paid on their replacement private property if they sell their first property within six months of buying a lower-value replacement private property.

5:07pm: Personal income tax rebate

There will be a personal income tax rebate of 50 per cent for the Assessment Year 2024, capped at S$200.

The rebate will cost the government S$350 million.

The income threshold for dependant-related tax reliefs will also be raised from S$4,000 to S$8,000 with effect from Assessment Year 2025.

5:05pm: S$200 in LifeSG credits for NSmen

All past and present national servicemen (NSmen) will get S$200 in LifeSG credits in November 2024.

4:58pm: S$5 billion fund for energy transition

Wong addressed the need to transition to cleaner energy "in the near to medium term".

Although natural gas is the cleanest of all fossil fuels, Singapore will not be able to achieve net-zero emissions by continuing to rely solely on natural gas.

The government is currently looking at alternatives such as importing low-carbon electricity, hydrogen, and geothermal energy.

"Further out in the future, we do not rule out nuclear energy," Wong added.

He continued: "There is considerable uncertainty as to how all these energy pathways will work out. What is clear however, is that significant effort and costs will be needed to transit from a system powered almost entirely by natural gas today to one powered largely by clean energy."

Therefore, a Future Energy Fund will be set up, with an initial injection of S$5 billion.

4:42pm: Financial support for retrenched workers

The government will introduce a temporary financial support scheme for those who are involuntarily unemployed while they undergo training or look for jobs that are a better fit.

However, the scheme has to be designed “carefully”, Wong said.

This is to avoid the pitfalls that other countries experienced when they introduced unemployment benefits.

4:39pm: Lower school fees for those with special needs

"We know that families of children with special needs face greater cost pressures due to higher fees at education and care services," Wong said.

As such, the maximum monthly fees at special education schools will be reduced from the current S$150, to S$90.

The fee caps at all special student care centres will also be lowered.

4:24pm: More support for ITE graduates

A new ITE Progression Award, aimed at providing more support for graduates aged 30 and below, will include two parts.

Firstly, ITE graduates who enrol in a diploma programme will get a S$5,000 top-up to their post-secondary education accounts.

Secondly, these students will get a S$10,000 top-up to their CPF Ordinary Accounts when they attain their diplomas.

"We want to encourage and support more young ITE graduates in their upskilling efforts, so they can excel in a profession they have training in and get themselves on a better career and wage trajectory," Wong said.

4:10pm: New SkillsFuture programme, better support for mid-career workers

A new SkillsFuture Level-Up Programme will be introduced to better support mid-career workers.

Singaporeans aged 40 and above will receive a top-up in SkillsFuture credits of S$4,000 in May 2024.

Those younger than that will get the top-up when they turn 40.

4:03pm: S$1.3 billion support for businesses

An Enterprise Support Package will be introduced which will provide S$1.3 billion in support to companies.

All companies will get a 50 per cent corporate income tax rebate, capped at S$40,000.

Companies that hired at least one local employee in 2023 will also receive a minimum of S$2,000 in cash payouts.

The maximum working capital loan quantum will also be permanently raised to S$500,000 to help Singapore enterprises’ financing needs.

3:58pm: Top-up to GST Voucher Fund

The GST Voucher Fund will also receive a S$6 billion top-up.

This will help defray GST expenses for lower- and middle-income households.

3:55pm: Enhancements to Assurance Package worth S$1.9 billion

The additional support for Singapore households under the Assurance Package will cost S$1.9 billion.

This support includes CDC vouchers, cost-of-living special payments, one-off U-Save rebates, and one-off service and conservancy charges (S&CC) rebates.

The Assurance Package was designed to provide more support for lower-income families, as well as larger households with seniors and children.

3:47pm: More CDC vouchers and one-off special payments

All Singaporean households will receive S$600 more in Community Development Council (CDC) vouchers.

The first S$300 will be disbursed by the end of June 2024, and the remaining S$300 in January 2025.

Eligible Singaporeans will also receive one-off cost-of-living special payments of S$200 to S$400.

Additionally, one-off U-Save rebates will be disbursed to eligible Housing Board households to cope with increased utility bills.

3:30pm: DPM Wong starts delivering Budget Statement

Watch our livestream of the statement here.

This is a developing story. Check back for new updates.

Top photo from Parliament Singapore website