Singapore Announces Monetary Bonus To All Citizens After Surplus In Budget

| February 20 , 2018 , 10:02 IST

National Budget's generally focus on the expenditures and taxes a given government is planning. While India's recent budget left the middle class concerned about taxes, the budget of Singapore has brought a special 'gift' for its citizens in the form of a monetary bonus, due to surplus in the Budget.

All Singapore citizens of the age 21 years and above will be receiving a "SG Bonus" of up to S$300 (Rs 14,708) each since the Budget 2017 witnessed a surplus of nearly S$10 billion (US $7.6 billion), the nation's finance minister announced on Monday.

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During the Budget speech in Parliament, Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat described the bonus as a "hongbao" which in Mandarin means a monetary gift given on special occasions, saying that this "reflects the government’s long-standing commitment to share of the fruits of Singapore’s development with Singaporeans," reported Channel News Asia.

The total cost to the government of the "SG Bonus" is S$700 million (US $533 million), and will be paid to the citizens based on their assessable income. The payouts are due by the end of 2018 and will be given to around 2.7 million citizens.

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For the citizens earning S$28,000 (Rs 13.7 lakh) or below will be eligible to receive S$300, those whose incomes ranging from S$28,001 to S$100,000 (Rs 49 lakh) will receive S$200, and those with incomes in excess of S$100,000 will receive S$100.

Due to contributions from statutory boards and higher-than-expected stamp duty, Singapore's revised budget for fiscal 2017 showed a surplus amount of S$9.61 billion.

Apart from the 'hongbao' monetary gifts, the surplus amount will also go towards the Rail Infrastructure Fund with around S$5 billion set aside, while another S$2 billion would be set aside for premium subsidies and other forms of support for insurance schemes.