The Finance Minister of Singapore, Heng Swee Keat announced on Feb 19 that all the residents of the republic, particularly those who are aged 21 or above will receive a one-off 'SG Bonus' of up to $300 each as the 2017 budget came with a surplus of almost $10 billion.
In Parliament during the presentation of 2017 Budget, Heng said the bonus as 'hongbao', which is a word used for a monetary gift usually given on special occasions. It will cost the Singapore government $700 million.
According to reports, he said that this bonus reflects the long-term commitment of the government to share the fruits of Singapore's development with the citizens.
On the basis of people's assessable income, the bonus will be paid to them. By the end of 2018, about 2.7 million Singaporeans will receive the due bonus.
While people who earn $28,000 or below, are considered to be eligible for receiving $300, people with $28,001 to S$100,000 income will get $200. According to the minister, Republic's citizen, who earns $100,000 will receive $100.
The Finance Ministry also mentioned that since the contribution from statutory boards and higher-than-expected stamp duty, Singapore has received the budget for fiscal 2017 with a surplus of $9.61 billion.
According to Heng, the government will use the surplus in other ways as well. While $5 billion will be set aside for the Rail Infrastructure Fund, which will help Singapore to build new railway lines, another $2 billion will be reserved for premium subsidies and other forms of support for Eldershield, which is an insurance scheme for senior citizens. This scheme helps them to cope with their financial demands to maintain their daily care.