Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat revealed that a design submitted by a group of Temasek Polytechnic students has been selected as the logo of Budget 2021, which will be delivered in Parliament right after the Chinese New year holidays on 16 Feb.
Mr Heng, who also serves as Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, unveiled the logo on Facebook on Sunday (17 Jan) and explained that the warm colours used in the design represent the strength and vibrancy of Singapore while the three figures symbolise the unity, tenacity and commitment of Singaporeans.
He added that the logo represents “one of many ways our youths contribute to our annual Budget.”
Sharing that he was struck by the younger generation’s desire to do more for the less advantaged in society during a pre-Budget dialogue with 50 youths from Self-Help Groups on Saturday (16 Jan), he added:
“Our youth are our future. Their dreams and goals will determine what we become. And we must ensure that their aspirations and actions are reflected in Budget. And we will do our utmost to encourage them and bring the best out of them.”
Mr Heng has been updating Singaporeans on how his team has been preparing for this year’s Budget on his social media page. Work on the Budget started early last month with a series of feedback meetings led by prominent cabinet ministers.
As Mr Heng met business leaders to get their assessment of the current economic outlook and find out what kind of aid businesses need to emerge stronger, Education Minister Lawrence Wong heard grassroots leaders’ Budget-related feedback. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah also launch a Pre-Budget Conversations series.
Singaporeans were also invited to take part in the process and members of the public, households and businesses were asked to share their suggestions with the Budget 2021 team as part of a mass feedback exercise.
Last week, the Ministry of Finance launched its annual Budget Quiz to enhance public understanding and awareness of the Budget process and key national policies. Prominent ruling party politicians Chan Chun Sing, S. Iswaran, Chee Hong Tat, Koh Poh Koon and Tan See Leng also hosted small group discussions over the week to get feedback for the Budget.
Meanwhile, observers expect overall spending to be reined in this year after the S$100 billion that was set aside over five budgets last year as the nation fought the COVID-19 pandemic.
PAP MP Liang Eng Hwa, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Finance, Trade and Industry, told a pre-Budget roundtable on Thursday (14 Jan): “I’m a bit more realistic about what to expect for the upcoming Budget because there are only so (many) financial resources you can use to help.”
He added: “I expect this Budget to be a lot more targeted and differentiated than before, so we really channel and allocate funds to those businesses that need help, grow the economy and create jobs. We’ll still have to help, but the numbers will taper off along the way.”
Mr Heng himself made similar comments on New Year’s Eve. Noting the extensive support measures that were rolled out last year, Mr Heng said that Singaporeans can expect a more “traditional” Budget this year as long as the economy doesn’t take a turn for the worse.
He said, in a Facebook post: “Preparation for Budget 2021 is well underway. The pandemic is contained locally and vaccination is ongoing. But the overall outlook remains highly uncertain and will be the case for some time to come.
“If the trajectory of economic recovery is on track, then we will have a more “traditional” Budget year. But if the situation takes a turn for the worse, we are ready to respond and adapt.”
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