Friday, January 23, 2009

Today's Singapore News

The following are stories that are making the headlines over at Topix Singapore News today, edited by yours truly.

-Bak Kwa sales still hot despite the downturn: If Singaporeans are cutting back on expenses during the economic downturn, it isn't evident this Lunar New Year. Especially when it comes to bak kwa, many families are still willing to splurge on the barbequed sliced pork.
-Better than a GST cut: Budget 2009 may be highly pro-business but individuals are not complaining. Households will benefit from measures such as increases in GST credits, U-Save accounts, rebates in HDB service and conservancy charges (S&CC) and cuts to income and property taxes.
-Lower train and bus fares soon: Commuters can expect lower train and bus fares to be announced by the end of next month. This is because the Public Transport Council will work with the Public Transport Operators to reduce bus and train fares this year.
-Singaporeans less likely to cut spending on property and renovations: Singaporeans are less likely than most of their Asia-Pacific neighbours to cut spending on property and renovations, according to a MasterCard survey that measures the resilience of planned expenditure categories to cutback.
-Corporate tax cut makes Singapore attractive: Businesses have hailed the 1 percentage point cut in the corporate tax rate, the second time the Government has done so in three years, in a move that Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said will “sharpen our competitiveness”.
-Singapore's Limits: It's not often that a Singaporean official concedes the limits of the city-state's economic engineering. But the downturn is proving so severe that the Finance Minister said in yesterday's budget speech that the government's stimulus package "will not get us out of the recession," but rather "help avert an even sharper downturn."
-MPs say Budget is bold and decisive: Budget 2009 is bold and decisive - that is the general feeling of Members of Parliament.
-Dole up by $30: Those on the dole and living alone will get more money from the Public Assistance (PA) scheme, starting from April. Single PA recipients will each get an extra $30 per month, raising their grant to $360.
-Easing the credit crunch: Companies have welcomed the Government’s move to bear a higher risk of default in Government loan schemes, but several are sceptical that banks will bite.
-Government to lower tax burden for businesses: In a move to sharpen Singapore's competitiveness, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the corporate income tax rate will be cut by one percentage point to 17 per cent from the Year of Assessment 2010.
-GST credits will double: Families will enjoy a doubling of GST credits and generous benefits to help them live on reduced incomes this year.
-Singapore taps reserves to help battle recession: Singapore, facing its worst recession on record as the global slowdown batters the trade-dependent city-state, will tap its official reserves for the first time to help fund a record 20.5 billion Singapore dollar (US$13.7 billion) stimulus package.

1 comment:

tyneham said...

Bailouts and tangible stimulus schemes may also help some, and the post-mortems on the economy would continue for several decades. But is time to find viable solutions? Businesses and banks still need bespoke turnaround survival strategies to reduce losses, improve organic and inorganic efficiency, increase revenue, gain sustainable competitive advantage, improve strategic positions, and outperform market competition. The results add real business values; create new business opportunities and jobs for investors who target niche, captive markets where consumer demand still continues to grow in double-digits annually to 2030.