Budget to help firms cope with challenges

An office worker at Raffles Place.
An office worker at Raffles Place. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The Budget will be focused on the economy, with the Government looking to help firms get through the immediate challenges of a slowing economy.

But more importantly, it will help companies to restructure to adapt to a fast-changing economic landscape, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Mr Heng, who will be delivering his first Budget on March 24, sketched out some initial thoughts on what this year's Budget will look like.

"We'll be looking at how we can help small and medium enterprises to meet some of the immediate challenges, but also equally importantly, if not more importantly, to help SMEs to continue with this restructuring journey," he said.

"It is the first year of the new term of the Government, so we have to be particularly prudent, so that we have resources when we need to act later."

He added that the economy, which is expected to grow between 1 per cent and 3 per cent this year, is slowing down but is not in a recession.

For individuals, the Government will continue to have a targeted approach to social policies, while SkillsFuture will continue to play a big role for workers.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 05, 2016, with the headline 'Budget to help firms cope with challenges'. Print Edition | Subscribe