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UOB Group’s Economist Barnabas Gan gives his views on the recently announced Budget 2020 in Singapore.

Key Quotes

“The Singapore Budget 2020 is being announced in a time of unprecedented global threat from multilateralism, and amid on-going geopolitical tensions, the COVID-19 outbreak and global economic uncertainties.”

“Owing to the uncertainties, Budget 2020 has introduced two special packages: the Stabilisation and Support Package (S$4.0bn) and a Care and Support Package (S$1.6bn). Collectively, the above-mentioned packages will set aside S$5.6 billion (or 1.1% of GDP) to support businesses and households with the COVID-19 outbreak.”

“The Stabilisation and Support Package is targeted to help workers remain employed and aid companies with cash flow, while the Care and Support Package is to support households and alleviate concerns over cost of living.”

“Beyond near-term uncertainties, the budget recognises four key areas to prepare Singapore and Singaporeans for mid-to-long term challenges and opportunities. These include (1) growing Singapore’s economy and creating opportunities, (2) caring and nurturing Singaporeans at every stage of life, (3) building a liveable and sustainable Singapore in the face of climate change while securing Singapore’s sovereignty as an independent nation, and (4) working together to mobilise all Singaporeans to build a nation and a home.”

“For fiscal year 2020, revenue is expected to come in at S$76.0 billion, or an increase of S$1.3 billion over the revised 2019 estimates… Overall budget balance remains expansionary at an estimate of S$10.9 billion deficit, or 2.1% of GDP. This compares to a revised overall budget deficit of S$1.7 billion in FY2019.”