Look Back At Recent Budgets

Each year, the Government introduces different measures to benefit Singaporeans. On the economic front, we are looking to help local businesses transform and innovate. On the social front, we provide good family support to create a caring, resilient and cohesive society. Listed below are some schemes introduced in recent years:

Economic Schemes

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Scheme Short Description Year of Implementation Cost of Initiatives Scheme Beneficiaries Remarks

Corporate Income Tax (CIT) Rebate

To ease business costs and support restructuring by companies, CIT rebate was extended.

2011 to 2018

$475 million over two years (announced in 2018)

All companies

The CIT rebate has been enhanced and extended to 40% of tax payable, capped at $15,000 for YA 2018 and 20% of tax payable, capped at $10,000 for YA 2019.

Schemes to support Continuing Education and Training (CET), including

(i) SkillsFuture (MOE)
(ii) Adapt & Grow (MOM)


To support our people in their careers, through investments in lifelong learning and job placement programmes

(i) SkillsFuture introduced in 2015
(ii) Adapt & Grow introduced in 2016 (Work Trial enhanced and renamed Career Trial in B2018; Career Support Programme extended in B2019)

$800m in FY17

All Singaporeans

(i) SkillsFuture measures launched include SkillsFuture Credit, SkillsFuture Earn and Learn
(ii) Adapt & Grow measures include Professional Conversion Programme, Career Support Programme, Career Trial

Tech Skills Accelerator (TeSA) Scheme

Tripartite initiative by the Government, industry, and NTUC, to build and strengthen the digital workforce and to enhance employability outcomes in the ICT profession.

2016 (enhanced in Budget 2018)

$145 million over three years (announced in Budget 2018)

All Singaporeans who seek to upgrade and acquire new skills in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.

TeSA provide programmes to develop more local ICT professionals in emerging skill areas like data analytics, artificial intelligence, and cyber security:

a) Company-led Training
b) Tech Immersion and Placement Programme (TIPP)
c) Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme Plus (CITREP+)

SMEs Go Digital Programme (IMDA)

To help SMEs build digital capabilities by:

a) Providing SMEs with step-by-step advice on the technologies to use at each stage of their growth through the sectoral Industry Digital Plans (IDPs).
b) Providing SMEs with in-person help at SME Centres and the new Digital Tech Hub; and
c) Providing advice and funding support to SMEs that are ready to pilot emerging ICT solutions.


$80 million over four years (announced in 2017)


The IDPs work as a guide for local SME companies to digitalise their businesses, plug skills gaps and participate in national innovation initiatives. In 2019, the programme was expanded to cover more sectors .
The SME Digital Tech Hub, established by IMDA and operated by ASME, provides specialist digital technology advisory to SMEs with more advanced digital needs, such as data analytics and cybersecurity.
The pre-approved solutions that can be supported under the programme have also been expanded to include Artificial Intelligence (AI)-infused solutions and cybersecurity solutions.

Automation Support Package

Provides grant, tax and loan support under a single package for automation projects to encourage companies to implement impactful productivity and large-scale automation projects

Announced in 2016, extended in 2019


Since its launch, the ASP has helped more than 300 companies automate their operations and raise productivity

Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
[Streamlines productivity schemes e.g. SPRING’s Innovation Capability Voucher (ICV), NPark’s Land Productivity Grant (LPG) with effect from April 2019]

Provides up to 70% funding support for firms to adopt pre-scoped productivity equipment and IT solutions

Introduced in Budget 2018, enhanced in 2019

$800 million for PSG, Pact Programme, EDG over FY18-20


Up to 70% funding support for the adoption of pre-scoped, off-the-shelf solutions to improve productivity.

Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)
[Streamlines SPRING’s Capability Development Grant (CDG) and IE’s Global Company Partnership (GCP), following merger of IE and SPRING to form ESG, with effect from Oct 2018]

Provides enhanced funding support of up to 70% (FY18-22) for firms to build capabilities, innovate and internationalise

Introduced in Budget 2018.

$800 million for PSG, Pact Programme, EDG over FY18-20(announced in B2018)


Wage Credit Scheme (WCS)

To support businesses to cope with near-term cost pressures, the Government will co-fund wage increases given to Singaporean employees earning a gross monthly wage up to $4,000 under WCS.

Extended for three more years, i.e. 2018, 2019 and 2020 (announced in Budget 2018).

$1.8 billion from FY18-20 (announced in 2018)

All companies

The WCS was extended for three more years, and will fund 20%, 15% and 10% of qualifying wage increases in 2018, 2019, and 2020 respectively.

Networked Trade Platform (NTP) - (Customs/SPRING/ GovTech/IMDA)

The NTP is a one-stop trade information management system that will enable electronic data sharing among businesses and government, and serve as an open innovation platform for service providers to develop value-added services and apps.

Announced in Budget 2016. Officially launched in Sep 2018

Expected to cost more than $100 million for development

Supports firms, particularly in the logistics and trade finance sectors

It has the potential to bring over $600 million worth of man-hour savings each year to firms.

Enterprise Financing Scheme
[Streamlined existing financing schemes into a single umbrella scheme with effect from October 2019]

To support SMEs’ financing requirements through their various stages of growth, via 6 different financing areas: working capital, fixed assets, venture debt, trade, project, and mergers and acquisitions.

Announced in Budget 2019.
Includes the 2-year extension of SME Working Capital Loan (WCL) scheme where Government co-shares the default risk of loans with participating financial institutions, to encourage lending to our SMEs.

The scheme has catalysed more than $2.5 billion of loans since 2016.


The WCL will provide SMEs in Singapore with access to up to $300,000 of Government-supported loans for working capital purposes. The Scheme will also provide stronger support, up to 70% of the risk for bank loans (compared to the typical 50%) for companies that have been incorporated for less than 5 years.

Global-Ready Talent Programme
[Combined existing young talent programmes, namely the SME Talent Programme, Young Talent Programme, and Go Southeast Asia Award, into a single programme.]

To support Singapore firms in sending Singaporeans for postings in key markets such as Southeast Asia, China and India
To support students in taking up overseas internships, as well as local internships provided by local companies

Announced in Budget 2019. Officially launched in Oct 2019.


All companies and IHL students

Social Schemes

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Scheme Short Description Year of Implementation Cost of Initiatives Scheme Beneficiaries Remarks
Social Transfers

Merdeka Generation Package (MGP) – (MOF)

The MGP was introduced as a gesture of appreciation for the Merdeka Generation, and to care for them in their silver years.

Introduced in 2019

$6.1 billion set aside in Fund.
With the interest accumulated over time, the Government expects that the sum of money will meet the full projected cost of the MGP (over $8 billion, in nominal terms, over the MG’s lifetimes).

Singaporeans who were born between 1 Jan 1950 and 31 Dec 1959, and who became Singapore citizens on or before 31 Dec 1996; Singaporeans who were born on or before 31 Dec 1949, who became Singapore citizens on or before 31 Dec 1996, and who did not receive the Pioneer Generation Package

Will benefit about 500,000 Singaporeans, to support the Merdeka Generation’s aspirations to stay active and healthy. The benefits are as follows:

  • One-time $100 Passion Silver Card Top-up
  • MediSave Top-Ups of $200 every year, from 2019 to 2023
  • Outpatient Care Subsidies at Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) Clinics, Polyclinics, and public Specialist Outpatient Clinics.
  • Additional 5% subsidy for annual MediShield Life premiums, which increased to 10% when an MG turns 75 years old
  • Additional $1,500 participation incentive for MGs who decide to join CareShield Life when it becomes available in 2021

5-Year MediSave Top-Ups – (MOF)

Annual MediSave top-ups for older Singaporeans of $100 a year for five years, from 2019 to 2023

Introduced in 2019

$570 million in 2019

Singaporeans born on or before 31 December 1969 and who do not receive PGP or MGP


Bicentennial Bonus – (MOF)

Announced in Budget 2019 to commemorate Singapore’s Bicentennial and to support individuals who need more help. The Bicentennial Bonus has five components:

  • GST Voucher – Cash (Bicentennial Payment)
  • Workfare Bicentennial Bonus
  • CPF Top-up
  • Edusave Account and Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) Top-ups
  • Personal Income Tax Rebate

Given in 2019

$1.1 billion in 2019

Individuals who need more help, including youth, working adults and older Singaporeans


SG Bonus – (MOF)

A one-off cash payout announced in Budget 2018 to share the fruits of Singapore’s development with all adult Singaporeans

Given in 2018

$700 million in 2018

All adult Singaporeans aged 21 years and above


GST Voucher (GSTV) Scheme – (MOF)

The permanent GSTV scheme helps lower- and middle-income Singaporeans offset some of their GST expenses. The GSTV comprises three components – Cash, MediSave and U-Save.

Introduced in 2012

About $6 billion set aside in Fund for FY12 to FY20; $1.5 billion top-up in FY17

Lower- and middle-income Singaporean households

Recent enhancements and special payments:

Budget 2019:

Up to $300 in the GSTV– Cash (Bicentennial Payment)

Budget 2018:

Additional $20 per year for GSTV - U-Save from 2019 to 2021 for eligible HDB households to cover expected average increase in electricity and gas expenses arising from the introduction of the carbon tax

Budget 2017:

Permanent increase in GSTV – U-Save quantum by up to $120, and a one-off GSTV - Cash (Special Payment) of up to $200

ComCare Long Term Assistance/ Public Assistance (PA) – (MSF)

Provides a basic monthly cash allowance to those who are permanently unable to work and have little family support.
These individuals and their families also receive various forms of help, such as free social services and medical treatments from Government, as well as financial assistance and food deliveries from community-based organisation and grassroots volunteers.

PA rates are reviewed and updated every 3 years.


Individuals who are unable to work and have little family support

Budget 2019: PA rates increased to between $600 and $2,150, from between $500 and $1,770. Cash rates depend on household size.

Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) Rebate – (MOF)

The S&CC rebate directly offsets S&CC payments by households. In 2019, eligible Singaporean HDB households will receive up to 3.5 months of S&CC rebate.

Generally given out annually since 1992

$132 million in FY 2019

Eligible Singaporean HDB households

Budget 2017:

All eligible HDB households to receive additional S&CC rebate of 0.5 month, up from 1 to 3 months’ worth.

Support for Seniors

Community Network for Seniors – (MOH)

CNS brings together Government agencies, and community partners to bring ABC to seniors – Active Ageing, Befriending, and Care and Support.

Pilot started in 2016; To expand nationwide by 2020


All seniors

Integrates resources and efforts of government agencies, VWOs and local volunteers.
Ambassadors under the Pioneer Generation Ambassadors Programme will guide seniors in health screening exercises, join group exercises and provide more information on active ageing and befriending services.
Government is reviewing our processes to achieve better integration of health and social services for seniors. Programme will be extended to other constituencies.

Silver Support Scheme – (MOM/CPF)

The Silver Support Scheme provides assistance to elderly who had low incomes through life, and now have little or no family support.

Introduced in 2016

About $1 billion since the scheme was launched in 2016

170,000 seniors

Three sets of criteria used in combination to determine eligibility: Total CPF Contributions, housing type, level of household support.


CareShield Life and ElderFund – (MOH)

New long-term care insurance scheme (CareShield Life) and discretionary assistance scheme (ElderFund) to provide lifetime cash payouts to the severely disabled.

Introduced in 2019

$5.1 billion set aside in Long-Term Care Support Fund in 2019

Eligible Singaporeans

  • To provide greater healthcare assurance that Government will strengthen financial protection for long-term care


Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) – (MOH)

CHAS enables all Singapore Citizens, including Pioneer Generation (PG) and Merdeka Generation (MG) cardholders, to receive subsidies for medical and/or dental care at participating General Practitioner (GP) and dental clinics

Introduced in 2012; Enhanced in 2019

More than $200 million a year in CHAS subsidies

All Singapore Citizens, but CHAS benefits tiered according to household monthly income per person or the Annual Value of the home.

  • Extended to all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income
  • Extend subsidies for common illnesses to citizens with CHAS Orange card
  • Increased subsidies for complex chronic conditions

Community Mental Health Masterplan – (MOH)

The Community Mental Health (CMH) Masterplan is a 5-year masterplan to strengthen our community mental health services and better support persons with mental health conditions in the community. CMH will enable early identification of mental health symptoms, expansion of mental health services in polyclinics, and strengthening of integrated health and social care services in the community.

First 5-year CMH Masterplan was launched in 2012, with the second launched in 2017

The second CMH Masterplan will cost an additional $160 million from FY17 to FY21

Persons with mental health conditions

  • Initiatives include establishing more Dementia-Friendly Communities, providing mental health and dementia services within polyclinics, and expanding the number of community outreach teams and allied health community intervention teams


Enhanced CPF Housing Grant for new and resale flats – (HDB)

A grant of up to $80,000 to help make HDB flats more affordable for first-timer homebuyers.
The grant is applicable to all flat types and estates.
Together with the CPF Housing Grant (up to $50,000) and Proximity Housing Grant (up to $30,000), eligible first-timer families buying a resale flat can now enjoy up to $160,000 in housing grants, up from $120,000 previously

Introduced in 1994; Enhanced in 2019


First-timer households that are lower- to middle- income

This replaces the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG). The SHG was previously restricted to BTO flats which were 4-room or smaller in non-mature estates.

Proximity Housing Grant for resale flats – (HDB)

A grant of up to $30,000 for those who purchase a resale flat to live with or near their parents.

Introduced in 2015; Enhanced in 2018


Family or singles buying a resale flat to live with or near their parents.

The grant was increased from $20,000 to $30,000 for families buying a resale flat to live with their parents or children, and from $10,000 to $15,000 for singles buying a flat to live with their parents.
The definition of near has been extended from 2km to 4km.

CPF Housing Grant for resale flats – (HDB)

A grant of up to $50,000 to help make HDB resale flats more affordable for first-timer homebuyers.

Enhanced in 2017


First-timer households buying a HDB resale flat

The grant was increased from $30,000 to $50,000 (for households who purchase 4-room or smaller resale flats) and $40,000 (for households who purchase 5-room or bigger resale flats).


Financial Assistance Scheme – (MOE)

Provides financial assistance to needy Singapore Citizen students so they can benefit from the best opportunities in Education.

Enhanced in 2019


Eligible Singaporean students

In Budget 2018, the annual bursary quantum for pre-university students under the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme was increased from $750 to $900.
The income eligibility criteria was also updated to benefit more students.

Edusave – (MOE)

The Edusave Account is meant to provide children at primary and secondary levels with funds to help them pay for approved enrichment programmes or fees.

Enhanced in 2019


All Singaporean students aged 7 to 16 years old

In Budget 2018, the annual Edusave contributions provided by the Government was increased from $200 to $230 for each primary school student, and from $240 to $290 for each secondary school student.

Bursaries for Post-Secondary Education Institutes (PSEIs) – (MOE)

To further support Singaporean students in publicly-funded PSEIs

Enhanced in 2019


Eligible Singaporean students

From Academic Year 2020, Government bursaries for eligible full-time Singaporean undergraduates and diploma students will be enhanced.
In Budget 2017, the income eligibility criteria was revised.

Support Employment of Older Workers/ Persons with Disabilities

Special Employment Credit (SEC) – (MOM)

The SEC encourages employers to hire Singaporeans aged 55 and above, and earning up to $4,000 a month by offering wage offsets of up to 8% of the employee’s monthly wages.
The Additional Special Employment Credit (ASEC) of up to 3% of an employee’s monthly wages was introduced to provide additional wage offsets to employers hiring older Singaporean workers above the re-employment age earning up to $4,000 a month.

Introduced in 2012; Extended to end-2020

$1.1 billion over 2017 to 2019

The extended SEC will cover about 340,000 workers, or about three in four older Singaporean workers

The Government has introduced several measures to support the continued employment of older workers. Other measures include re-employment legislation, higher CPF contributions for older workers, WorkPro and initiatives under the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment Practices.

Support for Workers

Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) – (MOM)

Supplements incomes and retirement savings of the bottom 20% of workers, with some support also provided to those up to the 30th income percentile

Introduced in 2007; regular subsequent enhancements, with latest enhancements in 2020

$6.8 billion paid to about 860,000 recipients

860,000 Singaporean workers

From Jan 2020, qualifying income ceiling increased from $2,000/month to $2,300/ month, and higher WIS payouts of up to $4,000 per year.

Support for Persons with Disabilities

Enabling Masterplan 3 – (MSF)

The Enabling Masterplan is five-year roadmap that guides the building of a more inclusive society.
Enabling Masterplan 3 (2017-2021) focuses on recommendations to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities, support for caregivers, and build a caring and inclusive community.

Enabling Masterplan 3: 2017 to 2021
2nd Enabling Masterplan: 2012 to 2016
1st Enabling Masterplan: 2007 to 2011

$400 million per year on initiatives for persons with disabilities and their caregivers

Persons with disabilities and their caregivers

Initiatives include the School-to-Work Transition Programme, setting up a new Disability Caregiver Support Centre, and enhancements to the Taxi Subsidy Scheme.

Support for Families


KidSTART is a new pilot system of support which draws together Government and community resources to enable low-income and vulnerable children to have a good start in life.

Pilot introduced in 2016.
KidSTART expansion to be implemented in 2020.

The initial 3-year pilot costed more than $20 million.

1,000 children benefitted from the first 3-year pilot.
Another 5,000 children to benefit from KidSTART.

KiSTART comprises three components - Regular home visits, weekly community-based sessions and enhanced pre-school support
KidSTART pilot was introduced in the following sites – Kreta Ayer, Bukit Merah, Taman Jurong, Boon Lay, and Geylang Serai.
KidSTART will be expanded to more regions. Monthly income ceiling for KidSTART eligibility raised from $1,900 to $2,500.

Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) Levy Framework – (MOM)

Some families enjoy a monthly concessionary FDW levy of $60, recognising the caregiving needs of Singaporean families with young children, elderly persons, and persons with disabilities.

Enhanced in 2019


Eligible FDW employers

In Budget 2018, the qualifying age for the levy concession under the aged person scheme was raised from 65 to 67 years.

1 In Budget 2017, it was announced that IDPs would be developed for 6 priority sectors – Retail, Food Services, Wholesale Trade, Logistics, Environmental Services (Cleaning) and Security. To date, IDPs have been launched for another 4 sectors – Media, Sea Transport (Harbour Craft and Ship Agency), Accountancy and Hotel.