More thrilling than Garfield Goes Bananas; shorter than War and Peace…

…it’s Singapore’s 2010 budget!

Some selected highlights, courtesy of Pravda’s Twitter feed:

  • A deficit of $7.2bn, 2.6% of GDP (boo-ring. I hear a foghorn. Boo-ring);
  • $1.4 billion in cash splashes – whoops, typo, meant to say “direct transfers for households”;
  • Wives who are taxpayers can claim “spouse relief” of $2000 (in other news, Deng Xiaoping was wrong: in Singapore, to get married is glorious);
  • Tiered property taxes – from 0% at the bottom to 6% for the most expensive private houses;
  • “Govt to commit $100 million over five years to scale up support for business associations to drive productivity at the industry level”… uh, what?;
  • And apparently there’s a 250% tax deduction for donations to “Institutions of a Public Character”, whatever those are. (Interestingly, donations to charities in Singapore aren’t tax deductible – only donations to IPCs are deductible, and there are stiff criteria for the upgrade from “charity” to “IPC”.)

So, uh, do the EFF and Reporters Without Borders count as “institutions of a public character”?

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