Singapore — The people have been invited to share ideas for Budget 2021 by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat. He made the call on Wednesday (Dec 2) when he announced that he and his team had started work on it.

This year was challenging for many nations because of the Covid-19 pandemic, which worsened the already grim economic outlook.

Mr Heng delivered four Budgets to help Singaporeans cope with the health and financial crises in as many months. He presented the Unity Budget on Feb 18, the Resilience Budget on March 26, the Solidarity Budget on April 6 and the Fortitude Budget on May 26. Altogether, the Covid-19 support measures cost the Government S$93 billion. Of this sum, S$52 billion comes from past reserves.

Mr Heng, looking back at the events of the year, exclaimed on Facebook on Wednesday: “Never in my life would I have imagined that I would have to present four Budgets in one year!”

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He added that he had hosted a virtual gathering to thank his Ministry of Finance (MOF) Budget team for their hard work on the Budgets unveiled over the year.

Highlighting the support his team gave him, he wrote: “They worked on the details of economic and social programmes to support our workers, families and businesses in Singapore in a most challenging year.

“They have all been working non-stop since the beginning of this year, with the work becoming even heavier and more intense as the global Covid-19 pandemic situation worsened and disrupted life and businesses. My special thanks to my MOF team, and to all staff in our public agencies and partners who have been working so closely with us!”

Mr Heng, who added that he was working with fellow ministers Lawrence Wong and Indranee Rajah on the coming Budget, called on Singaporeans to join the effort and share their feedback with his Budget 2021 team.

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He said: “Everyone can play a role — please join us in the Budget 2021 journey by sharing your ideas. The Budget reflects our collective needs and aspirations as a society, and charts our direction as a nation.

“My team and I value your views and suggestions, so that we can shape Budget 2021 to support our people and businesses, and your hopes and wishes for Singapore. I look forward to everyone’s active participation, as part of our #SingaporeTogether movement.”

Those who wish to provide input for Budget 2021 may do so here.

/TISG