80% of Singaporeans think Budget 2021 will boost economy: survey

People look out from the observation tower of the Marina Bay Sands amongst public and private residential apartment buildings in Singapore, February 22, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People look out from the observation tower of the Marina Bay Sands amongst public and private residential apartment buildings in Singapore. (Reuters file photo)

SINGAPORE — Eight in 10 Singaporeans believe Budget 2021 will help improve Singapore's economic outlook, with three in 10 thinking it will achieve this by "a lot", according to a recent survey by Blackbox Research.

The annual survey polled 758 respondents aged 20 and above between 17 and 18 February, with fieldwork completed within 48 hours of the Budget announcements in Parliament.

The Budget was rated 6.9 out of 10 amongst respondents, up from 6.7 in 2020 and 5.8 in 2019, according to the findings released on Friday (19 February).

Nearly half also expressed their belief that 2021 will be a better year economically, up from last year’s 26 per cent, with 85 per cent believing that Singapore is on the right track to post-pandemic recovery.

The key announcement that Singaporeans are most aware of for Budget 2021 is the Community Development Council vouchers of $100 per household for use at heartland shops and hawkers (54 per cent).

Tying at second place at 50 per cent are the special cash payment of $200 for those eligible for the Goods and Services Tax (GST) voucher and the $120-$200 in utility rebates for Housing & Development Board (HDB) households (GST Voucher U-save).

Forty-nine per cent of respondents are aware of the GST increase scheduled for 2022-2025, while 45 per cent are aware of the GST to be applied on low-cost purchases from overseas, including items bought online.

The survey also found that the service and conservancy charge rebates for HDB residents top the list In terms of which announcement resounded the most with Singaporeans. Comparatively, the GST increase scheduled for 2022-2025 resounded the least with Singaporeans.

Blackbox Research CEO David Black called it "encouraging" to see that this year’s Budget has inspired widespread optimism for 2021, with many of the new measures welcomed by Singaporeans.

“While last year’s Budget was seen as a mammoth effort to bring Singapore back on track, Singaporeans continue to respond well to the new schemes and initiatives announced this year," he added.

"2021 will be the true litmus test on Singapore’s recovery strategy, and so it remains critical to ensure the public’s voice is heard throughout this challenging year to successfully return Singapore to fiscal prudence while ensuring we ‘emerge stronger’ from the pandemic,"

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