Budget 2024 focuses on economic vibrancy, workforce upskilling, and competitive support for businesses as part of Singapore’s Forward plans.

In alignment with the nation’s Forward Singapore strategy, the government has announced Budget 2024, a comprehensive and forward-looking financial plan designed to bolster Singapore businesses for future challenges and opportunities. The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) has welcomed the initiative, emphasizing its potential to enhance business competitiveness, promote industry transformation, and encourage collaboration across the economic ecosystem.

Restoring Competitiveness: Amidst concerns over rising business costs and global uncertainties highlighted in the SBF National Business Survey 2023/2024, Budget 2024 introduces a $1.3 billion Enterprise Support Package. This includes a 50% Singapore Corporate Income Tax Rebate and a minimum of $2,000 cash payout to alleviate financial pressures. Additionally, the enhancement of the SME Working Capital Loan to $500,000 under the Enterprise Financing Scheme is set to provide significant relief.

Attracting Quality Investments: With the introduction of the Income Inclusion Rule (IIR) and Domestic Top-up Tax (DTT), Singapore aims to maintain its status as a premier investment hub. The new Refundable Investment Credit (RIC) further supports high-value economic activities, reinforcing Singapore’s competitive edge.

Deepening Capabilities: Budget 2024 also focuses on innovation, digitalization, and sustainability. The increase in funding for the Research, Innovation and Enterprise (RIE) 2025 initiative will support the development of critical technologies. The expansion of the Energy Efficiency Grant (EEG) to multiple sectors and the establishment of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Centres of Excellence are other key measures aimed at enterprise development.

Workforce Development: Enhancements to SkillsFuture for mid-career workers and the introduction of new training programs are designed to upskill the Singaporean workforce. The extension of the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit aims to ease the high cost of training, enabling businesses to invest more in their staff.

Fostering Collaboration: The expansion of the Partnerships for Capability Transformation (PACT) scheme is set to promote capability training, internationalisation, and corporate venturing. This initiative encourages structured partnerships that benefit both large and small companies.

Supporting the Social Compact: Acknowledging the budget’s focus on social support, businesses recognize the government’s efforts to mitigate the impact of these measures on business costs, such as through the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme. This collaboration between businesses, workers, and the government is crucial for creating a conducive environment for economic growth.

SBF Chairman, Mr Lim Ming Yan, and CEO, Mr Kok Ping Soon, have praised Budget 2024 for its balanced approach to addressing current economic uncertainties and laying the groundwork for sustainable growth. The upcoming Singapore Budget Symposium on 8 March 2024 will offer further insights into the budget’s implications for businesses.

Source – SBF