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12 measures Singapore firms can expect from Budget 2013


Some of this may be announced in just under an hour.

DBS recently released its report on the upcoming Singapore budget. It highlighted that many measures can be expected to help companies offset the transition costs from
the ongoing restructuring and to boost productivity. Some of the measures affecting enterprises may include:

• Tax rebates tied to the incremental reduction in the number of foreign workers being employed as well as incentives for hiring low-waged and aged resident workers;

• More help on upgrading the skills of low wage Singapore workers to enhance their employability to mitigate against structural unemployment;

• Tax rebates to help some SMEs relocate some of their lower value-added operations overseas;

• Adjustments in the minimum salary and other qualifying criteria for Employment Pass 2 (EP2) and S-Pass

• A one-off industry specific tweaking in the Foreign Workers Levies and the Dependency Ratio;

• Review the rental cost for all commercial and industrial properties under the purview of the JTC and HDB;

• A comprehensive review of the current government licensing and administrative costs;

• Further top-ups to the current productivity related schemes such as the National Productivity Fund and enhancement to the Continuing Education and Training (CET) system;

• Additional incentives to encourage companies to internationalise;

• Streamline the criteria for existing funding and productivity enhancement related schemes for start-up, SMEs and R&D activities so that more companies can benefit;

• Further enhancement to the Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme to buttress investment in business capabilities and to offset the costs of investing in technology and business capabilities;

• Tax incentives to diversify the structure of the economy and to promote growth in new growth sectors.

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