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Budget Speech


Revised Estimates for 2012-13

150.    When I prepared the 2012-13 Budget early last year, I made a prudent forecast for government revenue in view of the global economic downturn, sluggish export and local economic slowdown.  One year on, my forecast about the economic conditions has proved to be accurate.  However, our actual revenue from various items now exceeds the original estimate.  Despite the economic fluctuations last year, local enterprises showed strong resilience.  Revenue from earnings and profits tax is $24.8 billion higher than the original estimate.  With the Government stepping up land sale to increase land supply, revenue from land premium has also increased by $9.1 billion compared to the original estimate.  Given hectic trading in the property market in the first three quarters and a bullish stock market in the fourth quarter of this year, stamp duty revenue is $6 billion higher than the original estimate.  Moreover, the dividend from the West Rail Property Development Limited is about $10 billion higher than the original estimate.  Taking all these into account, the revised estimate for government revenue for 2012-13 is $445.5 billion, $55.2 billion higher than the original estimate.  As for government expenditure, I forecast a revised estimate of $380.6 billion, three per cent or $13.1 billion less than the original estimate.

151.    For 2012-13, I forecast a surplus of about $64.9 billion.  By 31 March 2013, our fiscal reserves are expected to be $734 billion, equivalent to 36 per cent of GDP or 23 months of government expenditure.



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