Budget 2017: Sustainable Development for a Resilient Singapore


The 2017 budget which was announced by Singapore Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat outlined initiatives to boost sustainable growth and productivity amidst global political and economic uncertainties

Here are some key sustainability-related points from the Budget Statement:


  1. Plans to help companies manage economic transition
  • In view of continued weakness, the Government will defer foreign worker levy increases in Marine and Process sectors by one more year
  • Increase in wage and training support for workers moving to different sector under Adapt and Grow initiative
  • New Attach and Train initiative for up-and-coming sectors to provide work and training attachments


  1. Support for companies hiring older workers
  • The Special Employment Credit which provide employers with support for the wages of older workers will be extended till end-2019.
  • MOM will raise the re-employment age from 65 to 67 years, with effect from 01 July 2017
  • Employers will get wage offsets of up to 3% for workers who earn under S$4,000 per month and who are not covered by the new re-employment age of 67


  1. Carbon tax on the emission of greenhouse gases to be implemented from 2019
  • To curb emissions of greenhouse gases, the tax will be applied upstream, on power stations and other large direct emitters, rather than electricity users
  • The government is looking at a tax rate of between $10 and $20 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Revenue from the carbon tax will help to fund measures by industries to reduce emissions


  1. Restructuring diesel tax
  • Introduce a volume-based duty at $0.10 per litre on automotive diesel, industrial diesel and the diesel component in biodiesel
  • Permanently reduce the annual Special Tax on diesel cars and taxis by $100 and $850 respectively


  1. Current Carbon Emissions-based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) will be replaced with a new scheme that would consider four other pollutants on top of carbon dioxide
  • The new Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) would include nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, particulate matter, and carbon monoxide to account more holistically for the health and environmental impact of vehicular emissions
  • The new VES would run for two years starting from 1 January 2018. Meanwhile, the current CEVS would be extended until 31 December 2017


  1. Water prices, which was last revised in 2000, will increase by 30% in two phases starting from 1 July 2017
  • When increase is fully phased in July 2018, increase in monthly water bills will be less than S$18/month for 75% of households while increase will be less than S$25/month for 75% of businesses
  • Lower income households to get help to manage increases in household costs



  1. Support for families
  • CPF housing grant increased from $30,000 to $50,000 for couples who purchase 4-room or smaller resale flats, and from $30,000 to $40,000 for couples who purchase 5-room or bigger resale flats.
  • Capacity for centre-based infant care will be increased to more than 8,000 places by 2020
  • Increase in annual bursaries for post-secondary students, and revision in income eligibility criteria for such bursaries to extend them to more families


  1. Support for people with disabilities and those with mental health conditions
  • Government expects to spend around S$400 million per year on initiatives supporting persons with disabilities
  • The government will launch the third Enabling Masterplan, to better integrate Persons with Disabilities into the workforce, and to give more support to their caregivers
  • The government will spend an additional S$160 million on community mental health efforts
  • A Disability Caregiver Support Centre will also be set up to provide caregiver training and peer support
  • The number of Dementia Friendly Communities will also be expanded


  1. More support for community sports and sports excellence
  • More than S$50 million has been set aside to support community sports
  • The Sports-in-Precinct Programme will be expanded so that more Singaporeans can play sports near their home
  • The SportCares programme, which encourages disadvantaged youth to discover their strengths through sports, will also be expanded
  • The Government will commit an additional S$50 million in grants over the next five years to help aspiring athletes reach their full potential


Source: Budget Speech 2017, published on 20 February 2017 by the Singapore Government