Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has closed the Budget Debate in Parliament stressing the crucial role of SMEs
Wrapping up the Budget debate in parliament,
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam sketched out how the government is helping Small and Medium Enterprises as they restructure over the next three years.
He also explained the government's approach on how it helps Singaporeans progress, as well as its strategy on social spending.
Mr Tharman made clear that the measures in this year's Budget are very much focused on SMEs.
He pointed out that about two-thirds of the 5.3 billion dollar 3-year transition support programme, will go to SMEs.
On calls by some MPs for a more progressive tax system,
Mr Tharman pointed out that Singapore already has a highly progressive system of tax and benefits.
The highest income earners pay the most taxes and those in the lowest income bracket actually pay negative income tax, if benefits such as Workfare are taken into account.
Mr Tharman said the government's target for quality growth is not just an economic but a social strategy.
He said it will do more for social spending.
For example, in the areas of education, housing and work support.
He pointed to two groups among the low income that need help.
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