As Budget 2021 looks to address pockets of the economy hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and “emerge stronger together”, Singaporeans overall found the recent Budget announcements satisfactory, with a third feeling that they emerged as ‘winners’ from this year’s Budget.
Budget 2021 was rated 6.9 out of 10 amongst Singaporeans, a marked increase from 6.7 in 2020 and 5.8 in 2019. Out of this, a third (33%) of Singaporeans consider themselves emerging as ‘winners’ from Budget 2021, as this year’s initiatives are largely geared towards providing broader, across-the-board community support.
The survey also revealed a greater sense of optimism towards the Budget’s impact on the economy. 80% of Singaporeans believe Budget 2021 will help improve Singapore’s economic outlook, with 30% thinking it will achieve this by ‘a lot’. Nearly half (48%) believe that 2021 will be a better year economically, marking a significant jump from last year’s 26%. Singaporeans also indicated their confidence in the country’s trajectory, with 85% believing that Singapore is on the right track to post-pandemic recovery.
Emerging stronger together recognised as Budget’s central theme
For 36% of Singaporeans, Budget 2021 is primarily about ensuring Singapore comes out of the COVID-19 crisis stronger. This is followed by the Government needing to raise recurring revenue to offset its higher spending during the COVID-19 crisis (17%) and the need to support families while economic uncertainty prevails (12%).
The majority of Singaporeans agrees that the Budget will have a positive impact on everyone’s lives, especially the disadvantaged. 32% believe that Budget 2021 benefits all Singaporeans, and 20% think it will have the most positive impact on lower-income families specifically.
Rebates and vouchers resonate most with Singaporeans
The key announcement that Singaporeans are most aware of in 2021 is the CDC vouchers of S$100 per household to use at heartland shops and hawkers (54%). This is followed by the special cash payment of S$200 for those eligible for the GST voucher (50%), the S$120-S$200 in utility rebates for HDB households (GST Voucher U-save) (50%), the GST increase scheduled for 2022-2025 (49%), and the GST to be applied on low-cost purchases from overseas, including items bought online (45%).
In terms of which announcement resounded the most with Singaporeans, the service and conservancy charge rebates for HDB residents tops the list. This is followed by theCDC vouchers of S$100 per household to use at heartland shops and hawkers, the special cash payment of S$200 for those eligible for the GST voucher, the S$120-S$200 in utility rebates for HDB households (GST Voucher U-save), and the Wage Credit Scheme extension.
At the other end of the spectrum, the GST increase scheduled for 2022-2025 resounded the least with Singaporeans. This is followed by the GST to be applied on low-cost purchases from overseas, including items bought online, and the petrol duty increase being offset by a one-year road tax rebate for certain vehicles.
Online platforms favoured when keeping up with Budget updates
About 35% of Singaporeans say they paid close attention to the Budget this year, similar to 2020 (34%). The key news sources for Budget 2021 were digital online news (55%), followed by television (50%), and social media (41%). Physical newspapers continue to decline as a news source – only 27% said they read about the Budget in a newspaper, down from 37% in 2020.
Social media usage for Budget 2021 was dominated by Facebook-owned properties: Facebook (83%), followed by WhatsApp (51%) and Instagram (40%). Telegram (30%) also stood out as a key new platform for Singaporeans to find news and information about Budget 2021.
Download summary charts and tables here: http://bit.ly/BB-B21Charts
About the survey
Blackbox Research carried out an online nationally representative survey of n=758 adults aged 20 and above. Quotas were applied for gender, age, and socio-economic criteria including education and household type. The survey was conducted from 17th to 18th February, with fieldwork completed within 48 hours of the Budget reading in Parliament.