Asia Heng Swee Keat readies 2020 budget with new measures

Heng Swee Keat readies 2020 budget with new measures

The DPM said that the budget “will include measures that were not on the table one month ago” for reasons that have to do with the ongoing COVID-19

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In a Facebook post written earlier today, Monday (Feb 17), Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat explained that despite their usual efforts to settle budget details “as early as possible,” the 2020 Singapore Budget “will include measures that were not on the table one month ago” for reasons that have to do with the ongoing COVID-19. In his own words, Mr. Heng explained, “Usually we try to settle the details as early as possible. This year, we could not, because of the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Mr. Heng was quick to thank the Ministry of Finance Singapore (MOF) team since they have been working tirelessly alongside him to monitor the quickly-escalating virus. He also explained that they are taking into account the Singaporean people’s ideas to best deal with the unstable conditions that this widespread health situation has raised.

Mr. Heng, who also happens to be the Finance Minister, iterated that Singapore would have been much worse off “both financially and psychologically” if it weren’t for Singapore’s reserves. He wrote, “My team and I would not be able to spend the last few weeks working on the stabilisation and support measures. We would instead be lying awake trying to project the negative impact of the outbreak, how much of a hit we are going to suffer, rather than what we can do to stabilise our economy and support our people.” But it would seem that not everyone agrees with the Finance Minister when it comes to using the country’s “deep reserves,” despite him explaining that he does not mean just financially.

Photo: Facebook Screenshot

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Source: Screenshot from https://www.facebook.com/hengsweekeat/posts/2812007335504440?__tn__=K-R

Photo: Facebook Screenshot

Source: Screenshot from https://www.facebook.com/hengsweekeat/posts/2812007335504440?__tn__=K-R

Photo: Facebook Screenshot

Source: Screenshot from https://www.facebook.com/hengsweekeat/posts/2812007335504440?__tn__=K-R

Despite what some netizens believe, Mr. Heng shared, “I do not mean only our financial reserves – which give us the ability and confidence to respond robustly to unexpected situations. I also mean the reserves of strength, resilience, empathy, and resourcefulness among our public servants and fellow Singaporeans.” He continued, “If we did not possess such qualities, we could not stay united through this crisis and emerge stronger.”

He urged Singaporeans to see the outbreak “as a spur and a test for us,” rather than a “disruption.” He went on to say, “It spurs us to do our best for Singaporeans, who are themselves doing their best for their families and those around them. It is a test for us to show that we can rise to the challenge, and be worth of the generations who came before us, and future generations to come.”

In this light, the Singaporean people need only wait a few more hours to find out the result of the 2020 Budget, which reportedly ‘downgraded its 2020 growth estimate to a range of -0.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent,’ as it grapples with the progressive and unstable COVID-19 epidemic. In order to do so, the Deputy Prime Minister shared that they will introduce a package to help households with cost of living during the 2020 Budget speech.

Statistics show that as of Monday (Feb 17), at least 77 people in Singapore have had positive results when tested for the novel coronavirus with another 103 pending cases awaiting their results. According to The Straits Times, the country raised its Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) level to orange last Feb 7, which has prompted the government to add other necessary precautionary measures.

Deputy Prime Minister Heng invited Singaporeans to watch or listen to his live speech on Tuesday (Feb 18) at 3 p.m. via these following platforms:

  1. MOF Budget website (www.singaporebudget.gov.sg)
    2. CNA TV
    3. CNA YouTube (www.youtube.com/channelnewsasia)
    4. CNA website (www.channelnewsasia.com)
    5. CNA938
    6. Mediacorp MeWatch (www.mewatch.sg)
    7. Ch8 News website (www.8world.com)
    8. Mediacorp CAPITAL 958 城市频道
    9. ST website (www.straitstimes.com)
    10. MONEY FM 89.3
    11. Lianhe Zaobao (www.zaobao.com.sg)

 

 

 

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