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SBF is disappointed with the underwhelming short-term Budget 2017 measures

20 February 2017 [Singapore] - The Singapore Business Federation (SBF) is disappointed with Budget 2017’s short-term measures, mainly with the inadequate short-term support to lower business and compliance costs. The business community has repeatedly conveyed their concerns on rising business costs through various platforms.

For example, the deferment of foreign worker levies by one year for only the marine and process sectors should have been extended across other sectors which are still experiencing cost challenges. There is also an absence of measures on rental rebates for businesses in general.

However, SBF welcomes the medium to long-term measures, namely in the areas of internationalisation, innovation and development of digital capabilities, which continue to pave the way for the future economy.

“While it is comforting to know that this year’s budget has a strong focus of preparing our SMEs for the future economy, the current business outlook remains challenging. The business community requires immediate stimulus. We hope to see more details shared at the Committee of Supply debate. The SME Committee will continue to provide the platform for Government and businesses to work together to transform our industries.” – Lawrence Leow, Chairman, SBF-led SME Committee

“This year’s Budget on the short-term measures to help businesses fall short of our expectations. However, we are confident that the Government is monitoring the situation very closely and will respond accordingly when the need arises. Also, SBF and the TACs look forward to working closely with the Government on the implementation of the remaining 17 ITMs.” – S.S Teo, Chairman, SBF

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