Budget 2020: A millennial's summary of all the announcements that will impact your studies, career, and life ahead
We get it; you were probably extremely busy watching yet another episode Netflix's trashy reality TV show Love Is Blind, instead of catching Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat's Budget 2020 speech on 18 February. Admittedly, it was pretty long too, coming up at just over two hours and 18 minutes, so we don't blame you for missing it.
The truth is, along with a whole slew of reassuring measures to tackle the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, there were plenty of announcements that pertain to young Singaporeans' lives. Here's how much you'll be cashing in soon.
Care and Support Package: $300
Look forward to a one-off cash pay-out of up to $300 sometime this year to cope with the downturn. What's more, youths living in one or two-bedroom flats will be given an additional $100 per year in 2020 and 2021. Since it's meant to go towards defraying "household expenses", we'll using it to buy a bucketload of hand sanitisers and hand soaps as well as offsetting the annoying price hike for our Netflix subscriptions.
Assurance Package for GST: $1,600
To reduce the impact of the impending GST hike from 7 per cent to 9 per cent in 2022, a cash pay-out of $700 to $1,600, the biggest direct pay-out of the budget, will be distributed. Let's be real; this would probably be enough to get a little something from Net-a-Porter to treat yourself.
Stabilisation & Support Package: Salary increases
We know you've been hustling all-year round, so you'll be happy to know that salaries are set to increase under the Wage Credit Scheme. In essence, the government will be co-founding your wage increase with your employer. Asking for a raise just got a little simpler.
Overseas Exposure for Youths
Pack your bags for that overseas internship or exchange programme that you always wanted to go on, because the government is now rightfully encouraging young Singaporeans to gain more skills and exposure abroad. However, don't get too carried away; the scheme is only applicable for travel to ASEAN, China, and India. We hear India is looking pretty good this year.
SkillsFuture Credit Top-ups: $500
We're not sure about you, but we haven't spent the initial disbursement of $500 SkillsFuture credit that we received back in 2016. This year, all of us will be getting a top-up of $500 credit, but there's a catch; this time around, the credits expire at the end of 2025. There's plenty you can do with $1,000 worth of credits: figure out how to be an "affluent social media influencer" or simply learn how to cuddle better with your furry friend. Either way, you'll get another valuable notch under your belt.
Access to Quality Housing: $160,000
You've attained financial independence and soon, you'll one step closer to owning your own house with the enhanced CPF housing grant, which affords first-time flat-buyers up to $160,000 in housing grants. Finally, that BTO apartment with lush views of Punggol Waterway Park that you've been eyeing is looking that much more attractive. Now, the only thing left is finding a suitable partner to bunk with. Sadly, there are no grants for that.
Preparing for Climate Change
'Woke' millennials will be happy to know that Singapore is taking climate change seriously. On top of setting aside a $5 million fund to combat rising sea levels, all HDB towns are expected to go green and eco-friendly by 2030. Currently, HDB is moving closer to its solar power target with thousands of panels being installed on HDB blocks islandwide. That's not all; vehicles with internal combustion engines will be phased out by 2040 alongside a move towards electric vehicles. It's better late than never, right? That can only mean that we'll be seeing self-driving Teslas on our expressways in the near future. We've got our fingers crossed.