We listened intently to Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam as he provided the overview for the 2015 Budget and picked out the key numbers that will concern you.
Let’s get the most important thing out of the way: there are no cash sweeteners in the 2015 Budget, running contrary to the predictions of many analysts, including ours. It might possibly be the first Budget during an election year that cold, hard cash is not on the table.
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However, the 2015 Budget has offered a plethora of goodies for the average Singaporean to continue being more competitive and employable in the next decade. The keyword for the 2015 Budget is top-ups. Finance Minister Tharman has promised a platter of cash injections for a variety of schemes, including the much-talked-about Silver Support Scheme for the older generation of Singaporeans to help them tide through their retirement years.
We’re also excited about Skills Future, a new initiative that prods Singaporeans, young and old, to continue learning and upgrading themselves. Previously, skills redevelopment used to be a top-down approach and decided by your employers. The 2015 Budget has shifted the focus. Now, it’s a bottom up approach – you are responsible for your own upgrading and learning, and we like this change.
On the financial front, the top 5 percent wage earners in Singapore will be getting an income tax increase while the changes proposed by the CPF Advisory Panel are fully accepted.
Furthermore, older Singaporean workers will get to enjoy higher CPF contribution rates from their employers, bringing them in line with the Singaporean workers who are in their 20s to 40s. It’s in line with the government’s push to ensure Singapore’s competitiveness despite an ageing population.
Find out more numbers in our infographic of the 2015 Budget.