Singapore Budget 2011 was announced by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday.
I read with amusement the report by Straits Times that the end of radio and TV license “was greeted by loud cheers and clapping from parliamentarians in the house.”
Surely we have more important things to rejoice about?
With the spread of the internet and online television, there had been many previous calls for the TV license to be scrapped. MDA has always defended the relevancy of the TV license in the past. It is good that this dinosaur has finally been laid to rest.
TV license aside, what are the implications of the Singapore Budget 2011 for the average Singaporean?
1) I guess the most tangible benefit that is applicable to most people would be the utilities and S&CC rebates, and the growth dividends. The growth dividends ranges from $200 to $800 depending on your income and the value of the house you stay in. NSFs and NSmen will get $100 more.
2) The personal income tax would be lowered slightly, with an one-off tax rebate of 20% (up to $2000).
3) The employer’s CPF contribution rate will be raised to 16 per cent, up from 15.5 per cent. The additional 0.5 per cent will go into the Special Account. Also, the income ceiling for CPF contribution will be raised to $5,000 a month from $4,500 to keep pace with income growth in recent years (bottomline is more money in CPF, less take home pay). This also means that the SRS contribution limit for each year will be increased.
4) Those aged between 45 and 49 will receive up to $300 and those between 50 to 59 will get $400. This money will go into their Medisave.
5) Families with young children and with an annual home value in 2010 of up to $13,000 will receive $400 per child. For those whose homes are worth more than $13,000, the Child Development Credit payout will be $300 per child. The money will be paid into the Children Development Accounts.
6) For the low-income families (up to $2250/month income), the government will also introduce a Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) to help them buy their first Build-to-Order flat. Details of this will be released in the coming days.
7) About 400,000 workers who are on the workfare income supplement (WIS) will get a workfare special bonus.
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