Budget 2022 has been broadly welcomed for its measures to reduce inequalities, its generous support for both households and companies and its incentives for decarbonisation. The tax changes, which were significant this year, were appreciated not only for their goals, but also for how they were crafted. The staggered increase in the goods and services tax (GST) by 1 percentage point each time on Jan 1 next year and Jan 1, 2024, coupled with the $6.6 billion enhanced Assurance Package as well as the enhanced GST Voucher Scheme, will cushion the impact of the hikes on most Singapore households. Some businesses are also encouraged that the phased increase will give their customers more time to adjust to price changes.
Tax experts have also lauded the $500 million Jobs and Business Support Package for companies, the extension of the Jobs Growth Incentive as well as various loan schemes, additional funding for digitalisation and productivity solutions, support for local research and development, and incentives for reskilling - all of which will help firms innovate, grow and internationalise. Wealth taxes in the form of sharp increases in taxes on high-end properties were also appreciated for the fact that they were carefully targeted, administratively simple and will not affect competitiveness. And the fivefold increase in the carbon tax to $25 per tonne of carbon dioxide emissions from 2024 - and then to at least $50 by 2030 - will bring Singapore closer to international best practices and help accelerate the reduction of CO2 emissions through the use of low carbon power sources.