Singapore economy sees steady recovery and need to raise tax – PM

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FILE PHOTO: Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong delivers a keynote address at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore

SINGAPORE – Singapore’s economy is recovering steadily and the government sees a need to “start moving” on raising sales tax, its prime minister said on Friday.

Singapore’s sales tax, known as the Goods and Services Tax (GST), has been kept at 7% since 2007. The government first announced that it plans raise GST to 9% in 2018.

“We have seen this need coming for some years. Now that our economy is emerging from COVID-19, we have to start moving on this,” Lee Hsien Loong said in a New Year message.

More details is expected to be announced during the government’s 2022 fiscal year budget speech on Feb. 18.

Singapore’s economy is likely to expand around 7% this year, marking a recovery from the worst recession induced by the pandemic last year, and grow 3% to 5% in 2022, according to official forecasts.

“The year ahead will be a time of transition. Our economy is recovering steadily… We will progressively phase out emergency support measures as businesses revive,” Lee said.

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(Reporting by Chen Lin in Singapore, Editing by Louise Heavens)