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The Singapore Perspective

Key Budget measures

SHORT-TERM RELIEF FOR FIRMS

Companies looking for help to cope with the slowing economy got a boost in the Budget.

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat rolled out an enhanced corporate income tax rebate which will rise from 30 per cent to 50 per cent of tax payable, up to a cap of $20,000.

In addition, the SME Working Capital Loan scheme aims to improve access to finance for viable firms that have cash-flow concerns or want to expand their business.

ENCOURAGING COMPANIES TO TRANSFORM AND INNOVATE

The $4.5 billion Industry Transformation Programme is aimed at fostering innovation, boosting smaller firms and helping companies use automation.

As part of this, the Government is setting up teams to develop road maps for more than 20 economic sectors as part of efforts to get companies future-ready.

SKILLS UPGRADING FOR WORKERS

Following on from the SkillsFuture programme announced last year, the Government intends to continue investing heavily in boosting workers' skills.

For those affected by retrenchments, support will come in the form of expanded wage credit schemes through the Adapt and Grow initiative. Firms hiring older or disabled workers will also get enhanced Special Employment Credit wage subsidies.

A new TechSkills Accelerator will train people for the fast-growing information and communications technology sector.

SILVER SUPPORT PAYOUTS FOR SENIORS

This July, three in 10 elderly citizens will get the first payouts under the Silver Support Scheme.

About 140,000 Singaporeans aged 65 and above will get $300 to $750 every three months.

There is no need to apply for the scheme as eligible seniors will be automatically included.

INDUSTRIAL PARK OF THE FUTURE IN JURONG

The new Jurong Innovation District will bring together facilities for learning, research, innovation and production to form an "industrial park of the future".

Comprising Nanyang Technological University, CleanTech Park and the surrounding region, the district could host over 100,000 people across student and private residences, learning spaces, and start-up and research facilities.

The first phase is expected to be completed in 2022.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 04, 2016, with the headline 'Key Budget measures'. Print Edition | Subscribe