All Singapore citizens aged 21 and above will get a one-off “SG Bonus” of up to S$300 each as the 2017 budget came in with a surplus of almost S$10 billion (US $7.6 billion), the city-state’s finance minister announced on Monday.
Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat made the announcement during his budget speech in Parliament, describing the bonus as a “hongbao”, the Mandarin word for a monetary gift given on special occasions.
He said this “reflects the government’s long-standing commitment to share of the fruits of Singapore’s development with Singaporeans”, according to Channel News Asia.
The “SG Bonus” will cost the government S$700 million (US $533 million).
The bonus will be paid according to people’s assessable income. About 2.7 million people will get the payouts, which are due by the end of 2018.
Singapore’s revised budget for fiscal 2017 showed a surplus of S$9.61 billion, thanks to contributions from statutory boards and higher-than-expected stamp duty.
The surplus will also be used in other ways. Heng said S$5 billion will be set aside for the Rail Infrastructure Fund to save up for new railway lines that Singapore is building.
Another S$2 billion will be set aside for premium subsidies and other forms of support for Eldershield, an insurance scheme that helps senior citizens with severe disabilities to cope with the financial demands of their daily care.
A Freelance Journalist, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A contributory writer for Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). He has also pursued MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morganview all posts by: Nana Kwesi Coomson
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