7 in 10 approve of Budget measures

7 in 10 approve of Budget measures

The initiatives introduced in this year's Budget have been met with approval by seven in 10 Singaporeans, according to an annual post-Budget poll conducted by government feedback unit Reach.

Among the most welcome announcements were the Silver Support Scheme for the elderly poor, SkillsFuture for workers and higher income taxes for top earners, said Reach in a statement yesterday.

The poll, which aims to gauge Singaporeans' responses to the Budget, was conducted by phone and involved 947 randomly selected citizens aged 20 and above.

It was carried out from Feb 25 to March 6, after the Budget was unveiled on Feb 23.

The sample of citizens was weighted by gender, age and race to make it representative of the national population.

Reach said 77 per cent of those polled agreed that Silver Support, which will give low-income seniors quarterly cash payouts for life, will provide this group with significant aid.

About 72 per cent also believe SkillsFuture, a scheme that credits every Singaporean adult with $500 for training courses, will "help individuals to learn and develop throughout their lives", Reach added.

Both schemes were key pieces of this year's Budget.

In addition, 72 per cent of respondents welcomed the personal income tax hike for top earners.

Tax rates for the top 5 per cent of income earners - those pulling in at least $160,000 a year - will go up in 2017.

Respondents also supported the GST Voucher - Seniors' Bonus, a one-off cash payout for some elderly folk before the Silver Support scheme takes effect in the first quarter of next year.

Most also approved of the higher subsidies and bursaries for students, which they said would provide significant financial support for lower- and middle-income households.

Reach chairman Amy Khor, who is also Senior Minister of State for Health and Manpower, said in the statement that people "have shown strong support for measures which aim to give greater assurance and opportunities to Singaporeans at every stage of their lives".

yuenc@sph.com.sg .


This article was first published on March 18, 2015.
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