Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has signalled that tax changes are likely to be announced in the upcoming budget in February as the government seeks to lay the groundwork for its future spending.
“We have seen this need coming for some years,” Lee said in his annual New Year’s address, citing funds needed for social programs and expanding its healthcare system. “Now that our economy is emerging from Covid-19, we have to start moving on this.”
Lee’s comments come as the financial hub expects gross domestic product to expand 3% to 5% next year, slower than this year as travel, consumer and construction activities are yet to reach pre-Covid levels. It also follows the government drawing “heavily” on past reserves in its fight to support the economy through the pandemic, Lee said, and running a budget deficit for two consecutive years.