Results of SBF’s Post-Budget Survey 2017

As part of SBF’s ongoing role as the bridge between businesses and the Government, they conducted two surveys to obtain feedback from their business community on the views of the Singapore Budget 2017. 

By the Singapore Business Federation
Published on 13 June 2017 
 
As part of SBF’s ongoing role as the bridge between businesses and our Government, we conducted two surveys to obtain feedback from our business community on their views on the Singapore Budget 2017. The surveys were:
  1. An electronic poll of the company attendees that attended our “Seminar on Budget 2017” held on 8 March. This event was held after the Budget Statement was delivered on 20 February, and after the Committee of Supply Debates for the Ministries of Communications & Information, Finance, Manpower, and Trade & Industry were held.
     
  2. A more detailed electronic- and paper-based survey that was conducted from 8 March to 21 April. We approached companies through our membership database, SBF corporate website and social media platforms as well as relevant SBF events. We also reached out to the members of the Singapore National Employers Federation through its Secretariat to participate in the survey. A total of 213 responses were collated.
Respondents were asked about their profile, business and economic outlook as well as their sentiments on the key features of Budget 2017.
 
The main findings of our Survey are as follows:
  1. Majority of the companies (61.6%) viewed the current economic climate as uncertain. In terms of their business outlook for the next 6 months, most of the companies had a neutral view, with a higher percentage of respondents inclining towards being not optimistic.
     
  2. Among the Budget 2017 measures, the enhancement of Corporate Income Tax rebate, extension of Additional Special Employment Credit and increase in the accessibility of training were deemed the most beneficial to the companies.
     
  3. With regard to Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs), it was not apparent from the responses of the electronic poll as well as the detailed electronic- and paper-based survey that they were useful to the companies. The Government, in collaboration with Trade Associations & Chambers, could do more to publicise the details of the ITMs and their benefits to the businesses.
     
  4. Based on the more detailed electronic- and paper-based survey, the top views on Budget 2017 were as follows:
  • 55.2% were concerned that there is little relief on foreign worker policies apart from deferment of foreign worker levy increases in specific sectors;
     
  • 49.0% were concerned about immediate-term business costs as there are limited measures that address them;
     
  • 42.4% were relieved that there are measures to lighten the load of rising business cost;
     
  • 41.0% were appreciative that there are measures to deepen the skills of workers; and
     
  • 27.6% were appreciative that there are measures to help companies scale up.  
     
  • It is heartening to know from the electronic poll that the majority of the respondents agreed that the business community should step up and collaborate more with one another as well as with Trade Associations & Chambers to create a more promising future.

 

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