Singapore Budget 2018: One-time bonus of $100-$300 for S'poreans

Singaporeans aged 21 and older will receive a one-time bonus of $100 to $300 depending on their income, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.

Those with assessable income of $28,000 and below for income earned in 2016 will receive $300, while those earning $28,001 to $100,000 will get $200.

Assessable income refers to total income after deducting allowable expenses and approved donations.

Singaporeans who earn above $100,000 or own more than one property will get $100.

The one-time SG Bonus will cost $700 million in total.

This hongbao"reflects the Government's longstanding commitment to share the fruits of Singapore's development with Singaporeans", Mr Heng said.

He noted that the Government expects an overall Budget surplus of $9.6 billion for its 2017 financial year, higher than the initial forecast of $1.9 billion.

 
 
 

Mr Heng attributed the additional $7.7 billion mainly to "exceptional statutory board contributions of $4.6 billion" - primarily from the Monetary Authority of Singapore - and increased stamp duty collections of $2 billion due to the recent property market pick-up.

Such exceptional factors are not expected every year, and the Government cannot base its long-term fiscal planning on them, he said.

Besides sharing some of the surplus via the bonus, Mr Heng said $5 billion will go to a rail infrastructure fund, and another $2 billion for premium subsidies and other forms of support when the ElderShield review is complete.

The Government had previously included one-off items in its Budget announcements.

Middle-income earners who paid personal income tax received a 50 per cent rebate of up to $1,000 in Budget 2015, adding up to $717 million. That same year, eligible Singaporeans aged 55 and above also received a one-off Seniors' Bonus of $150 to $600 in cash.

For Budget 2011, the Government gave out $1.5 billion worth of "growth dividends", with 80 per cent of Singaporeans getting $500 to $700 each. In 2008, a $1.8 billion surplus-sharing hongbao was handed out to all citizens.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2018, with the headline 'One-time bonus of $100-$300 for S'poreans'. Print Edition | Subscribe