The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has invited netizens to find out if they have what it takes to be a Finance Minister ahead of Budget 2020.
On Monday (6 Jan), the MOF challenged netizens to take part in a quiz hosted by the Straits Times and find out whether they would know how to allocate the nation’s resources and manage Singapore’s expenses if they were the Finance Minister.
Those who participate can create their own avatar and even use their own photograph before answering questions like how they would allocate resources to help the elderly, encourage creativity, boost the birth rate, and help jobseekers and small enterprises. Participants are also asked how much surplus they would distribute back to the people.
As participants answer each question, the Straits Times microsite provides information on how past Budgets have helped the groups identified in each question.
The quiz was rolled out ahead of Budget 2020, which has been scheduled for 18 February. Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat branded Budget 2020 as a “strategic financial plan to address near-term and long-term issues, not just for the next year but for the years to come” earlier this year.
He said: “Each Budget builds on past Budgets, and lays the groundwork for future Budgets. It also reflects our responsibilities as a nation, our hopes as a society and our priorities for our people.
“As we come close to the end of a decade, Budget 2020 provides us with the opportunity to look back at Singapore’s progress, draw on key lessons and plan our future to take Singapore forward together.”
Echoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s concerns over the slowing global economy, the DPM – who is expected to become Singapore’s fourth Prime Minister sometime after the next election – added: “Through the years, we have invested in education, healthcare, security, and infrastructure. The global economy has slowed significantly.
“As the rapid advancements in technology continue to drive changes across all sectors of our economy and across the world, we must continue to transform and innovate our economy. We must stay relevant and useful, develop deep capabilities, stay open and connected to the rest of the world.”
Mr Lee had told the press earlier that Budget 2020 will be strong and suitable to the needs of the Singapore economy, given the state of the world economy.
Highlighting uncertainties around Brexit, the US-China trade tensions and the spat between Japan and South Korea, Mr Lee said it is not surprising that Singapore’s economy has slowed down given the slow growth globally, and that Singapore is preparing for uncertainties based on the state of the world today.
He said: “Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and all the other agencies are working towards preparing a Budget which will be strong, and suitable to the state of the world, and what the Singapore economy needs.”
There is strong speculation that the impending General Election will be called sometime after Budget 2020. /TISG