How Does SGBudget Affect You?

Liang Hwei

This article was originally published on Vulcan Post.

With Budget Day yesterday, Singaporeans are split between feeling redeemed, angered, or just plain confused. Much like any other Singaporean announcement, it takes a lot of wading through acronyms and schemes to get to the meat of the matter.

With the Jubilee Budget, however, there were definitely high hopes. We’ve broken it part of the Budget so that you can understand how it affects you and your family members.

Children (6 and below)

Image Credit: Yim photography


Image Credit: Yim photography

More affordable pre-primary school education:

  • Children aged 6 and below in 2015 will get Child Development Account (CDA) top-ups of up to S$600
  • Partner Operator Scheme to complement the Anchor Operator Scheme for child-care centres.

Students (Primary and Secondary)

Image Credit: TODAY


Image Credit: TODAY

More guided career advice

  • Introduction of the Individual Learning Portfolio, a one-stop education, training, and career guidance resource that will encourage life lifelong learning, a mastery of skills and even second-skilling later in life

More affordable school fees, especially for needy students

  • Waive exam fees
  • $150 top-up to the Edusave Accounts of Singaporean students aged 7 to 16 (or secondary school students above 16)
  • Needy students will get transport subsidy that will cover at least half of students’ transport costs.

Students (Tertiary)

Image Credit: MOE


Image Credit: MOE

More opportunities and guided career advice

  • Improve internships in Institutes of Higher Learning- make them more structured and meaningful. We will also help more of our students get international exposure.
  • Career Counselling – develop a professional core of Education and Career Counsellors, for our schools and Institutes of Higher Learning

More post-secondary education support

  • We will provide a top-up to the Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) of Singaporeans aged 17 to 20 to assist households in saving for tertiary education. The majority will receive $500.
  • Waive Exam fees
  • Needy students will get transport subsidy that will cover at least half of students’ transport costs.

Students (Poly and ITE)

Image Credit: Singapore Polytechnic


Image Credit: Singapore Polytechnic

More support in mentorship and career guidance

  • SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme: The graduates will be matched with suitable employers structured on-the-job training and mentorship with monetary support from govt

More post-secondary education support

  • Waive Exam fees
  • Needy students will get transport subsidy that will cover at least half of students’ transport costs.

Working professionals above 25

entertainmentcard

More support for working professionals looking to expand their skillset to stay relevant

  • A personal SkillsFuture account will be set up, with $500 to be topped up to go for courses to help them be future ready even as Singapore undergoes economic restructuring and transformation.

Working professionals above 40

Image Credit: Skillsfuture


Image Credit: Skillsfuture

More support for working professionals looking to expand their skillset to stay relevant

  • A personal SkillsFuture account will be set up, with $500 to be topped up to go for courses to help them be future ready even as Singapore undergoes economic restructuring and transformation.
  • Education and training subsidies for all Singaporeans aged 40 and above will be enhanced to a minimum of 90% of training costs for courses funded by MOE and WDA.

Above 50

Image Credit: Scene


Image Credit: Scene

More support for working adults at the retirement age

  • Increased CPF contribution
From Employers From Employees Total
50-55 Up 1% point Up 1% point Up 2% point
55-60 Up 1% point - Up 1% point
60-65 Up 0.5% - Up 0.5% point
Account Special Ordinary
  • Increase CPF interest – the government will be paying an additional 1% Extra Interest on the first $30,000 of CPF balances from the age of 55

Middle-income families

Image Credit: CityNews


Image Credit: CityNews

More financial support

  • Increase the CPF salary ceiling from $5,000 to $6,000.
  • 50% personal income tax rebate for 1.5 million Singaporeans

Families living with elderly or children

Image Credit: Jhui


Image Credit: Jhui

More help for families needing domestic support

  • Lower monthly concessionary Foreign Domestic Worker Levy of $120 (instead of $265) if they are eligible to $60 per month.
  • Extend the concessionary levy to households with children aged below 16, up from below 12 today.

Car Owners

Image Credit: UsedCarLoan


Image Credit: UsedCarLoan

Owning a carbon-emitting car will be more expensive

  • Low-carbon vehicle rebates to be increased.
  • Petrol duty rates will be increased by $0.20 per litre, and intermediate grade petrol by $0.15 per litre.

But they won’t be left in the lurch

  • One-year road tax rebate of 20% for cars, 60% for motorcycles, and 100% for the small number of commercial vehicles using petrol.

Rich people

Image Credit: Yahoo


Image Credit: Yahoo

Increase taxes

  • Personal marginal tax rate for top 5% of income earners (at least $160,000 a year) to increase from 20% to 22% by 2017.

Verdict

It definitely seems like the push for more middle-income and elderly support has been heard, with the changes to CPF contribution, GST vouchers, and tax rebates for the middle class being the most popular changes.

The emphasis on SkillsFuture and also the introduction of SkillsFuture Credits is a much welcomed one, especially given the long-standing focus of the Labour Movement in continuous education and training for workers.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 7.47.41 PM

Several people, including Labour MP Patrick Tay, has also taken to social media to express how happy he is that the initiatives that NTUC has been lobbying for, especially the SkillsFuture initiatives and SkillsFuture Credits, have been adopted.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 8.50.08 PM

These will promote lifelong learning, encourage continuous education and training (CET), support second-skilling and raise productivity. This may see a change of culture around learning, where grades-based achievements become less important, and life-long learning take centrestage.

Also Read: A Peek Into The Future With 10 Jobs Of 2050

The post How Does SGBudget Affect You? appeared first on Vulcan Post.