Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Letter to the Singapore Government

Dear Gahmen,

I am the boss of ABC company. We are a small company.  Thank you so much for making Singapore a friendlier place for my business. The Budget was so good for us small businesses that a small rumble was felt around Singapore yesterday when we all heaved a collective sigh of relief.  We’ve been expecting a bit of good news, and it seems that you delivered.


First, the increase in the partial tax exemption threshold from $100,000 to $300,000 was a godsend, especially since my company earn peanuts – and not the NKF-style peanut – in the first place.  The 75 per cent tax exemption for the first $10,000 in chargeable income and a 50 per cent exemption for the next $290,000 means I get to save some tax dollars so I can upgrade my Pentium 286 computer to a new Core 2 Duo monster.

Secondly, the drop in corporate tax from 20 per cent to 18 per cent is even better.  2 per cent is a lot, especially when it comes from our hard-earned dollars we made with blood, sweat and tears.  After all, I need some slush fund to pay off parking fines (my shophouse in front no space to park my van).

It is welcome relief, especially when we need to face the impact of an impending 2% hike in GST. What we need to buy next time for our business will be more expensive.  The 1.5 per cent rise of employer contributions to CPF also means staff salaries will be higher, so I am thinking of releasing some local staff and replace with some foreign talent (I hear they are cheaper and better at customer service).

We’d like to see more of such SME-friendly initiatives, so maybe I share some ideas with you on how the next Budget can be tweaked to fund more of such developments:

1. Tax more on cigarettes. The new tax formula for alcohol is a very good idea, so do the same for ciggies. Tax more for menthol lights, and even more for hard packs.  Then can get more revenue and improve health for us Singaporeans.  We don’t have to complain people smoke so much in public places either, and NEA will have less headache.

2. Tax those who work for others. Gahmen must be pro-business, so punish wage earners.  These people always look down on us struggling businessmen. I recommend you start with civil servants.

3. Reduce road tax, but increase tax on those who use bicycles. Nowadays, many of our foreign talent are also Olympic cyclists. The roads are full of them and they can pose serious traffic problems.  We should tax them for their Olympic training on our precious roads (and can also offset the ERP revenue shortfall).

Again, thank you.  We love Singapore.

Tan Ah Kow

Owner, ABC Company


*This letter is fictional.  Please do not search the ACRA website for ABC Company.

Find out more about the Singapore Budget announcements here.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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