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Key Highlights of Singapore Budget 2019 for the Industry & Businesses

20 Feb 2019

Ref No.: 200219 (1)
UEN: S97SS0046G

Dear Valued ASPRI Members,

Key Highlights of Singapore Budget 2019 for the Industry & Businesses

With the recent announcement of the Singapore Budget 2019, ASPRI is pleased to inform on the deferment of the earlier announced increase in Foreign Worker levy rates for Process sector and Marine Shipyard for another year and there is no change to the Dependency Ratio Ceiling (DRC) and S-Pass sub-DRC for the Process Sector.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat has also shared about the three key thrusts to support industry transformation – (i) building deep enterprise capabilities; (ii) building deep worker capabilities; and (iii) encouraging strong partnerships, within Singapore and across the world.

To serve our ASPRI members better, we have extracted some key highlights as below that might be relevant to your businesses:
 

  • Manpower
  • Career Support Programme (provides wage support for employers to hire eligible Singaporeans who are mature & retrenched, or in long-term unemployment, will be extended for 2 years, until 31 March 2021 (weblink: http://www.wsg.gov.sg/programmes-and-initiatives/wsg-career-support-programme-employers.html)
  • Special Employment Credits (SEC) scheme & Additional SEC will be extended for another year, until 31 December 2020 to support employers hiring older Singaporeans (for workers aged 55 and above) (weblink: https://www.sec.gov.sg/Pages/Home.aspx)
     
  • Tax
  • No change to the Corporate Income Tax rate
  • Written down allowance for acquisition of qualifying IPR will be extended to cover qualifying capital expenditure acquired on or before the last day of the basis period for YA 2025 instead of YA 2020
  • Automation Support Package that provides 100% Investment Allowance on the approved capital expenditure (net of grants & capped $10 mil per project) on projects approved by Enterprise SG during 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2019 will be extended to cover the approved projects from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2021
     
  • Support for Businesses
  • Enterprise Development Grant will be extended for 3 more years, up to 31 March 2023 (weblink: https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/financial-assistance/grants/for-local-companies/enterprise-development-grant/overview)
  • SME Working Capital Loan Scheme will be extended for another 2 more years, until March 2021 (weblink: https://spring.enterprisesg.gov.sg/Growing-Business/Loan/Pages/SME-Working-Capital-Loan.aspx)
  • Launch of the $100 mil SME Co-Investment Fund III to continue supporting firms to scale up & internationalise
  • Productivity Solutions Grant will be extended to 31 March 2023.  Eligible enterprises can also receive a subsidy for up to 70% of their out-of-pocket training expenses (net of other government subsidies), capped at $10,000 /enterprise (weblink: https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/financial-assistance/grants/for-local-companies/productivity-solutions-grant)
     
  • Innovation
  • SMEs Go Digital Programme will be expanded through developing Industry Digital Plans to more sectors & extending support to a wider range of digital solutions (weblink: https://www.imda.gov.sg/industry-development/programmes-and-grants/small-and-medium-enterprises/smes-go-digital)
  • Companies participating as demand users & technology solutions providers under the Digital Services Lab may apply for funding support of up to 70% of qualifying costs
     
  • Environment
  • Raise excise duty for diesel by $0.10/litre to $0.20/litre
  • Permanently reduce the annual special tax on diesel cars & taxis by $100 & $850 respectively
  • Road tax rebates will be provided for commercial diesel vehicles:
  • 1 August 2019 – 31 July 2020: 100% road tax rebate
  • 1 August 2020 – 31 July 2021: 75% road tax rebate
  • 1 August 2021 – 31 July 2022: 50% road tax rebate
     

For more details, you may refer to the attached documents, and the website links as indicated above.

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