The Politics of Budget 2018

21 Feb 2018

In Budget 2015, and prior to the previous general election, then Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the Government had provided sufficiently for increased spending by the state till the end of the decade.

This was, at the time, and still is, read by Singaporeans as a promise that there would be no increase in broad-based taxes till 2020.

On Monday, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in Budget 2018 that he would raise the goods and services tax (GST) by 2 percentage points - from 7 per cent to 9 per cent - but only implement that sometime between 2021 and 2025, with the exact timing being subject to the state of the economy, how much expenditures grow and "how buoyant" existing taxes are at the time.

Koh Gillian

Deputy Director (Research) at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) and Senior Research Fellow in the Governance and Economy Department