Singaporean youths react to Budget 2022
While youths felt the schemes will cushion the GST hike, some still felt there were groups needing additional support.
Singapore’s hike in Goods and Service Tax (GST) will be delayed to 2023, with staggered increments over two years, announced Finance Minister Lawrence Wong during his budget speech on Feb 18.
Named “Charting Our New Way Forward Together”, Budget 2022’s highlights include a $560 million Household Support Package to help Singaporeans with living expenses, and a five-year extension to the One Team Singapore Fund.
We spoke to some youths to hear their views on Budget 2022.
Glad there are financial schemes to help some through the GST hike
“I’m quite happy with the Household Support Package. I feel like the government has put in effort and funds to support families in the lower income groups so things like the increase in GST affects them less.
“While the GST increase is unpleasant for many, I understand that it is necessary since the government needs to pay for our increased healthcare expenditures. And doing it in steps since the economy is slowly recovering helps everyone to cope with ongoing inflation.
“The current packages seem pretty sufficient since they help to offset the GST hike a little before it actually takes place next year. And it’s great that some households that require more support can approach the Citizens’ Consultative Committee (CCC) for help!” – Gabriel Choo, 20, NSF
Wishes for more support for fresh graduates
“I was actually hoping there’d be more support for younger people, specifically those who are graduating or have graduated and are coming out into the workplace. I feel like there’s not much support for us and during this period with COVID-19 and all, it’s quite difficult to get a stable job.
“Currently I’m running a home based business and on top of that I do several other ad-hoc jobs to support myself. While it’s tolerable now, I’m sure I won’t be able to sustain such a lifestyle in the coming years.” – Isabella Tan, 22, Lash Technician
Short term schemes may not be enough support for some
“In the short term, the Government schemes and payouts will suffice in helping lower-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly adjust to the increase in prices.
“While these short term solutions are enough to help the bulk of us adjust, the GST hike may be harder for them to cope with especially since things in Singapore keep getting more and more expensive.” – Kirby Tan, 19, Student
Hopes additional help will be provided to lessen burden of working adults
“With our rapidly ageing population, the Government subsidy on medical bills and the limit on Medisave coverage should increase.
“The Edusave top up of $200 is also not enough. So many of us youths entering the workforce are already in debt. The Government should give additional support to new workforce entrants because they’ll be the ones who will support the economy now.” – Yu Jia Kai, 19, Student
Support schemes should continue to adjust in accordance to rising costs of living
“For low-income families or retirees, every little cent counts, and a payout won’t be able to provide stability in the long run.
“I hope the Government will consider an equitable approach that can ensure people from all social classes are able to cope. If daily living costs were to rise, then I hope wages and support schemes can increase and be provided accordingly.” – Nurul Zahidah Abdullah, 22, graduating student
Written by Caleb Lau, Amanda Tan, Shannon Kuan, and Naren Lee Sankar