Singapore to pay bonus to all citizens after surplus budget

All Singapore nationals aged 21 and above will get a bonus ranging from S$100 to S$300, depending on their income, because of the country’s surplus budget.

world Updated: Feb 19, 2018 18:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Singapore,SG bonus,surplus budget
People walk along a crowded alleyway past stalls selling gifts and decorative items in the Chinatown district of Singapore on February 19, 2018. Singapore unveiled its 2018 budget on February 19, with economists predicting the city-state raising its goods and services tax for the first time in more than a decade. (AFP)

All Singapore citizens aged 21 and above will get a one-off “SG Bonus” of up to S$300 each as the 2017 budget came in with a surplus of almost S$10 billion (US $7.6 billion), the city-state’s finance minister announced on Monday.

Finance minister Heng Swee Keat made the announcement during his budget speech in Parliament, describing the bonus as a “hongbao”, the Mandarin word for a monetary gift given on special occasions.

He said this “reflects the government’s long-standing commitment to share of the fruits of Singapore’s development with Singaporeans”, according to Channel News Asia.

The “SG Bonus” will cost the government S$700 million (US $533 million).

The bonus will be paid according to people’s assessable income. About 2.7 million people will get the payouts, which are due by the end of 2018.

Those with an income of S$28,000 or below will be eligible to receive S$300, those whose incomes ranging from S$28,001 to S$100,000 will receive S$200, and those with incomes in excess of S$100,000 will receive S$100.

Singapore’s revised budget for fiscal 2017 showed a surplus of S$9.61 billion, thanks to contributions from statutory boards and higher-than-expected stamp duty.

The surplus will also be used in other ways. Heng said S$5 billion will be set aside for the Rail Infrastructure Fund to save up for new railway lines that Singapore is building.

Another S$2 billion will be set aside for premium subsidies and other forms of support for Eldershield, an insurance scheme that helps senior citizens with severe disabilities to cope with the financial demands of their daily care.

First Published: Feb 19, 2018 16:20 IST