Singapore economy sees steady recovery and need to raise tax – PM

FILE PHOTO: Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers a keynote address at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, May 31, 2019. REUTERS/Feline Lim

December 31, 2021

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore’s economy is recovering steadily and the government sees a need to “start moving” on raising sales tax, its prime minister said on Friday.

Singapore’s sales tax, known as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), has been kept at 7% since 2007. The government first announced that it plans raise GST to 9% in 2018.

“We have seen this need coming for some years. Now that our economy is emerging from COVID-19, we have to start moving on this,” Lee Hsien Loong said in a New Year message.

More details is expected to be announced during the government’s 2022 fiscal year budget speech on Feb. 18.

Singapore’s economy is likely to expand around 7% this year, marking a recovery from the worst recession induced by the pandemic last year, and grow 3% to 5% in 2022, according to official forecasts.

“The year ahead will be a time of transition. Our economy is recovering steadily… We will progressively phase out emergency support measures as businesses revive,” Lee said.

(Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore, Editing by Louise Heavens)

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