Singapore is hiking its GST, but not until 2021 or later

Singapore plans to hike its sales tax to 9 percent from 7 percent, but said the change will only be made “sometime” between 2021 and 2025. (Reuters)
Updated 19 February 2018
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Singapore is hiking its GST, but not until 2021 or later

SINGAPORE: Singapore confirmed it plans to hike its sales tax to 9 percent from 7 percent, but said the change will only be made “sometime” between 2021 and 2025.
Pushing a change till at least three years away surprised some, after policymakers had flagged before Monday’s budget speech that Singapore must increase revenue to meet future spending needs of its rapidly aging population.
“The exact timing will depend on the state of the economy, how much our expenditures grow, and how buoyant our existing taxes are. But I expect that we will need to do so earlier rather than later in the period,” Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat told parliament.
“This GST increase is necessary because even after exploring various options to manage our future expenditures through prudent spending, saving and borrowing for infrastructure, there is still a gap.”
One tax change that will take place in 2019 is with carbon tax, which will stand at S$5 per ton of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019 to 2023. The plan is to increase it to between S$10-S$15 per ton by 2030.
Singapore introduced a GST in 1994, with a 3 percent rate. This was raised to 4 percent in 2003 and 5 percent in 2004, then to 7 percent in 2007.
Nine of 10 economists polled by Reuters had expected the government to hike the GST rate, which is one of the world’s lowest rates for consumption taxes.
The budget statement came after Singapore’s trade-reliant economy recorded full-year growth of 3.6 percent in 2017, the highest in three years, getting a boost from a recovery in global demand.


Oman signs exploration agreements with Occidental Petroleum

Updated 7 min 1 sec ago
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Oman signs exploration agreements with Occidental Petroleum

  • Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhi signed the agreement covering concession 51 with Occidental Oman

DUBAI: Oman signed on Sunday two agreements giving a unit of Occidental Petroleum the rights to explore for oil and natural gas in concessions 51 and 65, the oil ministry of the sultanate said in a tweet.
Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhi signed the agreement covering concession 51 with Occidental Oman and the agreement on concession 65 with Occidental Oman and Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production, a unit of state-owned Oman Oil Co, the tweet said.
Concession 51 covers 10,133 square kilometers (3,912.37 square miles) and concession 65 covers 1,230 square kilometers (474.91 square miles), Omani state TV said in a report.
The agreement provides for Occidental to spend $14 million on exploration operations in concession 51 in the initial three-year phase of the contract, Salman Al-Shehhi, the oil ministry’s director of investment, told state TV.
Oman’s oil output is about 995,000 barrels per day. The sultanate is not a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries but it took part in an agreement reached by OPEC and other exporters earlier this month to reduce global supply in order to bolster oil prices.