Singapore announces budget for 2023 hinh anh 1Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong arrives at Parliament House for the 2023 Singapore Budget on Feb 14, 2023. (Photo: CNA/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Singaporean Finance Minister Lawrence Wong delivered the 2023 Budget statement in Parliament on February 14, highlighting narrower deficits of 0.3% of GDP in 2022 and 0.1% of GDP in 2023 even as the city-state helps vulnerable households manage rising costs.

The minister said Singapore will top up its social assistance fund for low-income families by 300 million SGD (226.2 million USD) and its ‘Medifund’ for medical bills by 1.5 billion SGD. A support package to offset a recent one-percentage point sales tax hike will also be enhanced from 6.6 billion SGD to 9.6 billion SGD.

As Singapore’s fertility rate drops and its society ages, the government plans to do more to support parents with the costs of raising children.

Working mothers will get 8,000 SGD in tax relief for a first child and 10,000 SGD for a second child. A “baby bonus” cash gift will increase by 3,000 SGD.

Housings grants for first-time buyers of smaller resale public apartments will be increased by 30,000 SGD.

Singapore will invest 25 billion SGD between 2021 and 2025 for research, innovation and enterprise.

For 2022 as a whole, core inflation averaged 4.1%, higher than the 0.9% recorded in 2021. Meanwhile, headline inflation came in at 6.1% last year, up from 2.3% in 2021./.