What a world of difference between the Hong Kong Budget and the Singapore Budget!
I refer to the article “Finance chief Paul Chan dishes out budget sweeteners worth billions to Hong Kong taxpayers” (South China morning post, Feb 28).
It states that ”
• GDP to grow 3 to 4 per cent this year
• Fiscal reserves expected to reach HK$1.092 trillion
• HK$138 billion fiscal surplus; 40 per cent to be spent on relief measures
• HK$50 billion in tax breaks; reductions on salaries and profits tax, rates
• HK$50 billion for innovation and technology development
• HK$2,000 one-off cash handout for poor students
• No tax waiver on electric cars but drivers get subsidised one-for-one replacement scheme, capped at HK$250,000
• One-off allowance to ‘N-nothings’ makes comeback”
In contrast, with our overall Budget surplus for FY2017 and FY2016 (revised) at $9.6 and $12 billion, respectively – Singaporeans are only getting a SG Bonus of $100 to $300, Usave rebate of $20 a year to offset the carbon tax, an increase in the annual bursary quantum for pre-university students from S$750 to S$900, annual Edusave contributions will be increased from S$200 to S$230 for each primary school student, and from S$240 to S$290 for each secondary school student, and an increase in the income eligibility criteria for the Edusave Merit Bursary (S$6,000 in gross monthly household income, or S$1,500 in gross monthly household per capita income) to S$6,900 and S$1,725 respectively.
Leong Sze Hian