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Singapore Budget 2014: Government posts higher-than-expected surplus of $3.9b for FY 2013

Published on Feb 21, 2014 3:38 PM
 
The Singapore Government is expected to record an overall surplus of $3.9 billion for financial year 2013, higher than the surplus of $2.4 billion budgeted a year ago. -- ST FILE PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

The Singapore Government is expected to record an overall surplus of $3.9 billion for financial year 2013, higher than the surplus of $2.4 billion budgeted a year ago.

Some expenditures were lower than expected. For instance, there were unexpected delays in the building of the Downtown Line due to the insolvency of one of the contractors, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, as he delivered the Budget statement in Parliament on Friday.

Revenues were also boosted by higher vehicle quota premium collections.

This was because more replacement Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) were issued, as there were more vehicles being deregistered than expected.

More commercial vehicles were also renewed, contributing to the rise in vehicle quota premium collections.

Stamp duty collections also did not fall as much as expected, Mr Tharman added.

He said that the stronger fiscal surplus in the 2013 financial year was mainly due to "cyclical factors", adding that they will not last and Singapore should see a tighter budget position in the coming years.

The Singapore economy grew 4.1 per cent last year, up from 1.9 per cent in 2012.

The global outlook this year is "uncertain", said Mr Tharman, although he said the odds are against a sharp slowdown in the global economy.

For more news and analysis on Singapore Budget 2014, click here for ST's Big Story coverage.