February’s Budget Statement for 2020 came with the backdrop of a slumbering economy, questions over election dates and the global coronavirus crisis. Despite this, the Government’s economic plan won a resounding thumbs up, with Singaporeans scoring the budget an average 6.7 out of 10. This is a sharp rise from a score of 5.8 in 2019 and 5.4 in 2018. 44% of Singaporeans believe they are “winners” because of the Budget, with only 14% believing they will be less well off.
This Budget was crucial for the Government as the Red Dot is pessimistic about the economy overall. 45% believe 2020 will be worse for them, personally, than 2019. Only 26% have an optimistic view of the year ahead.
The previously announced GST rise may not popular, but the Government seems to have taken the sting out of the decision in the run up to the next GE. The deferral of the GST hike, together with the announced offsets were received well.
Measures supporting older citizens were most popular. These included a $100 Passion Card top-up for over 50s, expansion of the Silver Support Scheme and Skills Future grants, and salary support for employers who take on new staff in their 40s or above.