2 April 2016

Slightly under half of Singaporeans think Budget 2016 is fair

YouGov, the global polling and research firm, surveyed* 986 Singaporeans right after the Budget 2016, and found that local sentiment was mostly pessimistic about the future.

Four in 10 respondents are neutral about the economy, while more than a quarter (27%) think it is 'quite good'. Although only one out of five respondents (21%) think the current economy is quite bad, Singaporeans are not very optimistic about the future economy. Over 60% of Singaporeans think the economy is either getting worse, or has stopped getting worse but shows no signs of recovery yet. The older generation, defined as those aged 45 to 54 seems to be more pessimistic about the economy, with 45% saying the economy is still getting worse.

Half of Singaporeans (49%) think the 2016 Budget is fair, although three out of five respondents do not think it will make much difference to themselves or their families in the next 12 months. A further one of five do not consider it fair.

In the next 12 months, nearly a third of Singaporeans (32%) think the 2016 Budget will leave the country better off, while 11% think the Budget will leave the country worse off. However, there are over 40% of them who think it will not make much of a difference to the country.
In terms of priorities, all initiatives raised at the 2016 Singapore Budget scored over 3.0 out of a scale 1 to 5, where 1 equals 'wrong priority' and 5 means 'high priority' except for one. The National Outdoor Adventure Education Masterplan** was ranked the lowest by respondents (2.79). When the majority of Singaporeans are not optimistic about the future economy, it is understandable that people want socially-vulnerable groups to get more protection from the government. In this sense, Singaporeans gave the highest scores to Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme** and Silver Support Scheme** (both scored 3.96).

In terms of ideas, Singaporeans gave the Silver Support Scheme the highest score (4.01) out of a scale 1-5, where 1 equalled a 'very bad idea' and 5 meant an 'excellent idea'. The initiative of giving out a one-off GST voucher** ranks second in terms of idea with a score of 3.99, while the Workfare Training Support Scheme** ranks third with a score of 3.98.

Looking ahead, 70% of Singaporeans think the government should place more emphasis on the cost of living in the next year. This outpaced all other suggestions. Around half of the respondents vote for employment (49%), 43% vote for healthcare, 35% vote for ageing population, and 34% voted for economic stability.


View the WorkSmart Asia blog post on the Singapore Budget

Hashtag: #SGBudget2016

*Data was collected from YouGov’s panelists in Singapore over 26 to 28 March 2016 and was weighted to be representative of general population. Sample: Singapore (n=986 with 49% male and 51% female)

**The National Outdoor Adventure Education Masterplan includes a new Outward Bound Singapore (OBS) campus to be built on Coney Island.
WIS covers higher payouts and more support for disabled workers and low-wage earners.
In the Silver Support Scheme, eligible seniors will receive between S$300 and S$750 every quarter, depending on the type of flat that they live in.
One-off GST vouchers: Eligible recipients will receive a special payment of up to S$200 cash in 2016. In total, eligible households can receive up to S$500.
Workfare Training Support Scheme: Currently for low-wage workers who are 35 and above, this scheme will be extended to those with disabilities.