Parliamentary Question by Mr Patrick Tay Teck Guan:
To ask the Minister for Finance whether union membership fees/dues can be made tax deductible or as a relief such as in other jurisdictions across the globe.
Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:
1. Our tax treatment of union membership fees follows the same tax deductibility rules under the income tax system that we apply consistently on all expenses. Under our income tax regime, union membership fees are not tax deductible. This is also the case in other jurisdictions like Hong Kong.
2. Nevertheless, the Government recognises the importance of a strong labour movement to the success of tripartism in Singapore. The labour movement plays a strategic role in helping Singapore stay competitive and workers remain employable. Hence the Government has and will continue to provide support to the unions through various grants.