Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat

Greater healthcare assurance; additional $3.1 bil set aside for healthcare subsidies and support

SINGAPORE (Feb 18): As more Singaporeans enter their senior years, healthcare needs to grow, according to finance minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget 2019 speech.

Apart from already implementing changes to make healthcare more affordable, accessible and comprehensive, as well as providing greater social support to keep seniors active, another strategy is to provide greater healthcare assurance.

In an effort to enhance access to neighbourhood clinics that provide primary care to Singaporeans, Heng says that it will made more affordable to consult neighbourhood doctors.

Encouraging strong partnerships within Singapore and across the world

SINGAPORE (Feb 18): To support industry transformation, Budget 2019 will continue to support deep partnerships among companies within Singapore and across the world.

“To succeed, companies need to both compete and cooperate – compete to differentiate themselves, and cooperate to solve common challenges,” says Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

As such, the local Trade Associations & Chambers (TAC) will be strengthened through the Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) programme.

Singapore plans to focus on health, infrastructure in Budget 2019

(Jan 23): Singapore’s finance minister said next month’s budget will focus on infrastructure spending, health care for an aging population, and helping businesses transition to a digital economy.

“We want to be able to continue to invest in education, the health care of our people, and in taking care of the growing number of seniors,” Heng Swee Keat said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos.

Singapore central bank gets a trigger for tightening

(Feb 22): Singapore’s government may have given the central bank a green light to charge ahead with monetary policy tightening this year.

Economists are more confident in their calls that the Monetary Authority of Singapore will exit its neutral stance as soon as the next scheduled decision in April. They’re encouraged after Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said Monday that the budget position for 2018 will “remain expansionary” as Singapore incurs a small deficit amid greater spending and delayed tax increases.

Higher home buyer tax seen cooling Singapore's collective sales frenzy

SINGAPORE (Feb 20): Singapore's move on Monday to raise stamp duty on expensive home purchases is likely to dampen the recent wave of redevelopment sales in the city-state's recovering property market, analysts said.

From Tuesday, the wealthy city-state will apply a new top marginal rate of 4% stamp duty on the portion of residential property value in excess of $1 million, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in his budget speech. The current rate ranges between 1 and 3%.

Singapore Budget 2018: Matching more problems with more money

(Feb 20): Singapore’s budget on Monday was all about boosting government revenue through higher taxes in order to pay for rising spending needs.

While the city state has substantial reserves that it draws on to help fund the budget, that’s not a long-term solution for a fiscally conservative government like Singapore’s. Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said authorities must act prudently as the economy matures and the population ages, outlining a range of tax increases, including on property, consumption and online services, such as video streaming.

Top marginal buyer's stamp duty for residential properties raised to 4%

SINGAPORE (Feb 19): In the latest Budget 2018, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that the government will be raising the top marginal buyer's stamp duty (BSD) rates for residential properties to 4% from 3%, and applied on the value of residential property in excess of $1 million.

The increased top marginal rate will apply to a portion of residential property value which is more than $1 million.

The changes will be applied to all residential properties acquired from tomorrow (Feb 20) onwards.

Government revises Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) criteria to within 4km

SINGAPORE (Feb 19): Families are encouraged to live near each other in the latest Budget 2018.

Minister Heng Swee Keat said families buying a resale flat with their parents or children will receive an enhanced Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) of up to $30,000.

Meanwhile, those who will be buying a resale flat to live near their parents or children will continue to receive a PHG of $20,000.

Singapore charts path for growth as globalisation mood darkens

SINGAPORE (Feb 9): Singapore unveiled a set of strategies that reinforce its long-standing commitment to economic openness, as the trade-dependent nation seeks to drive growth in the next decade after a “dark shift in mood away from globalisation”.

(Download the executive summary of the report here)

Yahoo! Guess which were the top business stories in 2016?


SINGAPORE (Dec 12): Yahoo has revealed the top search trends, happenings and events that Singapore’s Internet users were captivated by in its 2016 Year in Review (YIR).

The annual recap was based on users’ daily search habits and an editorial selection of what they read, recommended and shared most on Yahoo in 2016, the internet giant says in a press release on Monday.

“[YIR] takes into account a number of factors including absolute volume and growth from previous periods to see which themes and trends bubble to the surface,” Yahoo says.

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