Singapore expects Budget surplus of S$6.4b for FY 2007


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melvin

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Posted: 15 February 2008 1545 hrs

Singapore expects to achieve a budget surplus of S$6.4b for fiscal year 2007.

Announcing this in Parliament on Friday, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam however warned that inflation remains a major uncertainty for the economy.

Singapore's economy in 2007 grew by 7.7 percent, a slower pace compared to 2006 when the economy grew 8.2 percent.

With some economists saying the United States is in a recession, the government forecasts Singapore's trade-reliant economy to expand at a slower clip of 4.0 percent to 6.0 percent this year.

While salaries increased and a record number of workers were employed last year, many Singaporeans and foreign residents saw their purchasing power eroded as soaring crude oil prices drove up the costs of food and other items.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was quoted earlier this month as saying inflation could exceed five percent this year, compared with 2.1 percent in 2007.

With inflation hurting family budgets, the prime minister said the increase in prices was a global trend and he suggested Singaporeans find ways to cut costs.
- CNA/ch
 

melvin

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No more Estate Duty WEF today!!!

Only left with Property tax which will remain!:(

Personal Income Tax n Coperate Tax will remain unchange!

20% rebate for incme tax cap at $2000for resident Tax payer!
 

melvin

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Govt to help Singaporeans cope with rising prices
Posted: 15 February 2008 1545 hrs

Singapore expects to achieve a Budget surplus of S$6.4b for fiscal year 2007.

Announcing this in Parliament on Friday, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam however warned that inflation remains a major uncertainty for the economy.

He added: ""We seek to moderate imported inflation through our Singapore dollar exchange rate policy. There is a limit to how fast the Singapore dollar can appreciate without hurting our economic performance and growth, and eventually causing wages to fall. An overly strong Singapore dollar can bring inflation down, but at the cost of lower growth and higher unemployment."

"This is why, while we can mitigate imported inflation through MAS's exchange rate policy, we cannot insulate ourselves completely from the effects of global inflation."

The Finance Minister spent a good part of his speech addressing the inflation issue, examining the factors contributing to this and also spelled out what the government will do to help Singaporeans cope.

The headline Consumer Price Index - or CPI - hit 4.4 percent in December but averaged 2 percent last year.

However the CPI is forecast to hit 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent this year.

If the barometer of inflation, the CPI, hits 4.5 to 5.5 percent this year, it will be the country's highest full year inflation rate since 1981.

Mr Tharman said the inflationary pressures arose mainly from high prices for food and oil due to the strong demand worldwide.

He added that the government would step up efforts to help Singaporeans cope such as diversifying food sources.

He did admit though that there are local factors for the rise in the CPI, mainly the rise in the annual value of homes.

But he stressed this is one form of inflation that would not hit Singaporeans' pockets since most own their homes.

As for the GST, Mr Tharman noted that this only caused a one-off increase in prices, and does not result in continuing price increases.

Singapore will also adjust tax policies to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

"We will...adjust our tax policies so that we stay competitive, support the growth of our SMEs, encourage risk-taking as well as strengthen our role as a financial and business hub," said Mr Tharman.

Singapore's economy in 2007 grew by 7.7 percent, a slower pace compared to 2006 when the economy grew 8.2 percent.

With some economists saying the United States is in a recession, the government forecasts Singapore's trade-reliant economy to expand at a slower clip of 4.0 percent to 6.0 percent this year. - CNA/ch
 

melvin

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Govt to help Singaporeans cope with rising prices
By Wong Mun Wai, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 15 February 2008 1606 hrs

SINGAPORE: The government has no plans to lower the rate of petrol duty despite higher oil prices.

Minister of State for Finance and Transport Lim Hwee Hua said this is because petrol duty is a vehicular usage tax aimed at discouraging the excessive use of cars and promoting the greater use of public transport, and these objectives remain relevant.

Mrs Lim was replying to a question posed by MP for Aljunied GRC, Mrs Cynthia Phua, in parliament on Friday.

Mrs Phua had asked if the government would review its tax policy on petrol, diesel and natural gas to help reduce business costs for transport operators, businesses, as well as commuters.

Mrs Lim explained that higher pump prices do not mean that the government gets to collect more petrol duties.

She said: "The excise duty on petroleum is imposed on volumetric bases of 41 cents a litre for 92 and 95-octane petrol, and 44 cents a litre for petrol rated 97-octane and above. The excise duty is therefore a fixed sum per litre of petrol."

There is no excise duty on diesel, fuel oil and natural gas used for generating power.


- CNA/so
 

melvin

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Finance Minister unveils 20% tax rebate
Posted: 15 February 2008 1656 hrs

Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced on Friday a tax rebate for Singaporeans.

He said: "As the Government had a strong surplus last year, ...we will give something back to taxpayers this year. I will give an income tax rebate of 20 percent for all resident taxpayers for Year of Assessment 2008.

The rebate will be capped at $2,000. Having this cap allows us to target the rebate at those below the top income brackets. The income tax rebates will cost the Government $380 million."

The Finance Minister also abolished estate duty from Friday.

He said: "It is not just a practical or expedient measure, but one that on balance will be in our collective interest. If we make Singapore an attractive place for wealth to be invested and built up, whether by Singaporeans or foreigners who bring their assets here, it will benefit our whole economy and society, not just the individuals who build up their wealth. It is not a zero sum game." - CNA/ch
 

waileong

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#6
Cost the "govt" $380M? You mean it cost the people $380M (actually, even more, given the surplus).
 

sigg

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ermmm...so what is new?:confused:
 

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