Singapore Budget 2024: Some Economists Express Concerns — Here's What to Know

By Giuliano De Leon

Feb 19, 2024 12:46 AM EST

Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong unveiled a projected spending plan costing S$131.4 billion (US$97 billion) in his Budget 2024 speech Friday.

Many Singaporean economists were impressed with the budget's inclusions. However, some of them shared several concerns.  

Singapore's Budget 2024 Concerns Some Economists—What's Included?
(Photo : ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong delivers a speech during the Singapore Fab expansion grand opening in Singapore on September 12, 2023.

Some Economists Expressed Concerns on Singapore's Budget 2024

Lawrence Wong said the Budget 2024 aims to assist citizens and businesses in adapting to an economy at a time of global tumult.

It addresses concerns like cost of living, inflation, and employability while ensuring that Singapore remains a land of hope and opportunity, including artificial intelligence (AI) developments that could allow the country to become a premier AI hub.

Although the Budget 2024 could help the nation adjust to drastic changes, some economists still expressed concerns about the sustainability of the effort.

According to The Straits Times, they were worried about the initiative's sustainability since it has large cash handouts for various sections of society.

Numerous Singaporean economists also said that the government does not provide information about where they will get the source for the nation's fiscal strength.

Some also raised concerns about the effectiveness of a flood of support packages in the budget, which have mostly been up and running for many years.

According to Dr. Chia Ngee Choon, associate professor of economics at the National University of Singapore, the Budget 2024 was "forward-looking, yet takes care of immediate needs. So I would say that it is a targeted budget, yet inclusive," The Straits Times reported.

She noted that Singapore's fiscal balance management, the difference between revenues and expenditures, was unique since it does not follow standards set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or other global bodies.

Read Also: Singapore's Biggest Bank DBS Cuts Ceo's Variable Pay by 30% Due to Multiple Digital Service Disruptions

Singapore Budget 2024

According to CNBC, here's the focus of the Budget 2024 shared by Lawrence Wong.

Supporting the unemployed people

  • A temporary financial support initiative will be introduced for terminated workers. 

Increased support for households and companies 

  • More vouchers and cash handouts will be provided to households.
  • Utility bill rebates through the Assurance Package.
  • 50% personal income tax rebate.

Business incentives

  • Businesses and companies will receive more support amid higher business costs.
  • A 50% corporate income tax rebate will be provided.
  • Companies that hire at least one local employee in 2023 will receive at least SGD 2,000 cash payouts.

Related Article: Thailand's Air Force Seeking $538 Million From State Budget for New Fighter Jet Fleet

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics