Summary of Budget Position (FY2017 and FY2018)
F1. Having laid out our plans to prepare for the next decade, let me now cover our overall budget position for the near term.
F2. For FY2017, we expect an overall budget surplus of $9.6 billion or 2.1% of GDP.
a. This is higher than the $1.9 billion or 0.4% of GDP forecasted a year ago. This increase of $7.7 billion is mainly due to exceptional Statutory Board contributions of $4.6 billion, primarily from MAS, and increased stamp duty collections of $2.0 billion due to the recent property market pick-up.
b. We do not expect either to occur every year. It is not a structural surplus.
c. We cannot base our long-term fiscal planning on the basis of exceptional factors being positive, year after year.
F3. I will therefore use some of this year’s exceptional surplus to save ahead for future spending.
a. First, I will set aside $5 billion in the Rail Infrastructure Fund that I spoke about earlier. This will help to pay for the new rail lines that we are building.
b. Next, I will set aside $2 billion for premium subsidies and other forms of support for Singaporeans when the ElderShield review is complete.
c. Finally, I will share some of this year’s surplus with Singaporeans. I will declare a one-off SG Bonus.
i. All Singaporeans aged 21 and above in 2018 will enjoy a “hongbao” of $300, $200 or $100, depending on their income. The SG Bonus will cost the Government $700 million. (Refer to Annex C-2.)
ii. It reflects the Government’s long-standing commitment to share the fruits of Singapore’s development with Singaporeans.
F4. Notwithstanding the overall budget surplus, FY2017 budget remains expansionary for the domestic economy. When we exclude NIRC and top-ups to funds, we expect a basic deficit of $1.0 billion, or 0.2% of GDP.
F5. In FY2018, our budget position will remain expansionary. Ministries’ total expenditures are expected to be $80.0 billion, or 8.3% higher than in FY2017. On the whole, we expect a slight overall budget deficit of $0.6 billion, or 0.1% of GDP. (Refer to Annex D.)
Together, a Better Future
F6. Mr Speaker, Sir, I will now conclude.
a. To prepare for this Budget, I spoke to many businesses, organisations, community partners, and Singaporeans. They gave me useful feedback, which helped refine our policies, and set our priorities for the years ahead.
b. I would like to thank them for their contributions, and also thank the students from Nanyang Polytechnic for helping to draw the beautiful sketches that you see in my slides today.
F7. Budget 2018 is about laying the foundation for our nation’s development in the next decade.
a. It seeks to support our transformation into a vibrant and innovative economy, by fostering pervasive innovation, building deep capabilities, and forging strong partnerships.
b. It seeks to build a smart, green and liveable city, so that Singaporeans can enjoy a high quality living environment.
c. It also seeks to further our collective efforts to foster a caring and cohesive society, by harnessing the sense of community and the spirit of giving in our people.
d. And finally, it lays out plans for our expenditures and revenues in the next decade, to ensure a fiscally sustainable and secure future for Singapore.
F8. At its heart, the Budget is a strategic and integrated financial plan to position Singapore for the future. It is a means for us to achieve the aspirations of our people, a roadmap for us to achieve our vision for Singapore.
F9. Our path ahead will not be easy, especially in the light of the major shifts happening around us – a changing global economic landscape, the emergence of new technologies, and our own demographic transition.
F10. But we have confronted graver challenges in the past, and have always been able to overcome them, using our wits and relying on the solidarity of our people.
F11. We are now in a much stronger position than we have been in the past. We have a diversified and well-connected economy, a highly motivated and educated workforce, a cohesive and resilient society.
F12. Together, we will marshal our resources and chart our course – to come together, to work together, to make our aspirations today, the reality tomorrow.
F13. This way, we can build a better Singapore for everyone. Together, we can make a better future for all of us.
F14. Mr Speaker, Sir, I beg to move.
Last updated on 19 Feb 2018