News; News & Events

SINGAPORE: Government gives a “growth dividend” to all adult citizens

On May 1, 2011 the Singapore government distributed a “Growth Dividend” to almost all adult citizens—about 2.5 million people. Singapore has experienced enormous growth (12 percent) in the past year, ballooning government revenues. Lawmakers, who created the payment, cited the need to ensure that everyone shares in the benefit of that growth. The size of the dividend was graduated so that people with lower income and wealth would receive a larger dividend. Most Singaporeans (80%) received S$600 to S$800 (about $488 to $650 in U.S. dollars). Those with higher income or wealth received S$100-S$300. So far, more than 90% of Singaporeans have signed up to receive their dividend. The rest have until the end of the year to do so. Although Singapore has distributed dividends before, it has not promised to distribute dividends every year.

For info on the Singapore budget including the “Growth Dividend” go to:

For an article discussing the dividend go to:

For an editorial discussing BIG in Singapore go to:

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 949 articles.

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor of political philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, specializing in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and now serves as vice-chair. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News, the main source of just-the-facts reporting on UBI worldwide. He is a cofounder and editor of the journal Basic Income Studies, the only academic journal devoted to research on UBI. Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Widerquist holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). He has published seven books, including Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2017, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) and Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). He has published more than a twenty scholarly articles and book chapters. Most Karl Widerquist’s writing is available on his “Selected Works” website ( More information about him is available on his BIEN profile and on Wikipedia. He writes the blog "the Indepentarian" for Basic Income News.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

One comment

  • That Singapore gives a citizens dividend is wonderful. Unfortunately, they now have a 7% Goods and Services Tax. The cash dividend won’t be more than enough to pay ten percent of the GST.

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