A data-centric look at Singapore Budget 2016

The Singapore government just announced the 2016 budget on March 24th 2016.

Rather than cover the budget from a policy perspective, which you can read in the budget statement, and which the mainstream media will mostly cover, we will look at the 2016 budget from a pure data-centric numbers perspective instead.

This is the third year running that we've been doing this, so you might want to check out our previous years in the links above.

Last year was an unusual year in that the government ran a big deficit.

The only year before that in the last few recent years that ran a deficit was in 2009 (S$819 million), during the last downturn. The previous big deficit before that was in 2003 (S$1.887 billion), during the SARS downturn.

In fact the 2015 deficit was not as large as projected. Last year in 2015 the projected deficit was about S$6.672 billion but after acounting for the actual spend and revenue taken in, the government only had a deficit of about S$4.885 billion.

The increase in spending this year seems to be slowing though. Taking the spend as a whole, in 2015 we spent S$78.946 billion and this year we're projected to spend S$79.701 billion, just a small 1% increase.

Budget wise though, the government is happily in the green as the budget will get a hefty chunk of change from NIIR (Net Investment Income/Returns) contributions from Temasek and GIC this year.

The NIIR contributions is S$14.705 billion in 2016 compared to S$9.898 billion in 2015 (a 48.5% increase!)

8 ministries in Social Development sector

3 ministries Security and External Relations sector

4 ministries in Economic Development sector

4 ministries in Government Administration sector

From the default view of the expenditure chart it is easy to tell that the rate of spend will slow across ministries in 2016 when compared to 2015.

This year I arranged the charts in four color scales to better reflect the sector grouping in which the ministries are in.

From this perspective, when you look at the proportional 100% spend of ministries against each other, it is probably fair to say that over the last eight years, more budget has been steered towards the Social Development sector.

The Economic Development sector has also increased slightly across the years, but the biggest chunk of monies that our government spends in this sector goes to the transport ministry to fix our ailing rail system and bus systems.

Notably, last year there was a huge increase in transport spending, from S$6.087 billion in 2014 to S$11.149 billion in 2015, a 83% increase in budget year-on-year. Most of this was developmental expenditure (S$10.345 billion) compared to operational expenditure (just S$804 million).

This year, the spend for transport, though a sizeable chunk at S$10.107 billion has actually fallen compared to last year's spend.

Thus proportionally, less has gone to the Security and External Relations sector over the years.

One other thing struck me: Health is continuing to see big spending increases, especially when you compare the proportional spending vs other ministries.

Spending on health was S$7.019 billion in 2014, which jumped to S$9.247 in 2015 which will jump to S11 billion this year.

Other taxes: Includes Foriegn Worker Levy, Development Charge, Annual Tonnage Tax and Water Conservation Tax

Other fees and charges: Includes revenue from Licenses, Permits, Service Fees, Sales of Goods, Rentals of Premises, Fines and Forfeitures, and Reimbursements

Corporate income tax continues to fall as percentage of revenues collected across the years, from 25.7% of all revenue in 2008 to just 19.6% projected this year in 2016.

Income tax is flat band across the years, hovering around 15% of total revenue collected.

Probably the biggest noticeable increase is in Motor Vehicle Taxes, from S$1.797 billion in 2015 to S$2.935 billion in 2016, a (63% year-on-year increase).

Vehicle Quota Premiums are holding steady at about S$5.655 billion this year (compared to $5.406 billion last year)

Data Sources

Do check out our other visualizations here at the viz.sg site or at V/R for more cool stuff!