Speaking in Parliament on Monday (Oct 5), Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Heng Swee Keat touched on Singapore’s progress through the Covid-19 crisis, as well as on her overall fiscal position.
He announced that according to the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the combined four earlier Budgets will prevent Singapore’s economy from contracting by a further 5.6% of GDP in 2020, and 4.8% in 2021.
DPM Heng also announced that the multi-ministry task force co-chaired by Ministers Gan Kim Yong and Lawrence Wong will be releasing more details on the roadmap to phase three in the coming weeks.
He explained that these details will include the expected timeline for moving to phase three, that includes changes to current regulations on the size of group gatherings, and participation at mass events.
On Monday (Oct 5), health minister Gan Kim Yong also announced that the Covid-19 multi-ministerial task force (MTF) could consider removing the social and dining limit of five people “if we continue to work together and keep our guard up”.
“We could consider allowing for general group sizes larger than five. So that larger families or groups of friends can meet and have meals together,” he said
In his speech, DPM Heng presented the revised revenue estimates to Parliament, which also took into account the revenue forgone arising from measures in the Fortitude Budget.
He added that while the revised estimates reflect a S$1.5 billion draw on past reserves resulting from measures such as the Foreign Worker Levy waiver, he noted that there is no additional draw for this latest support package itself.
The total draw on past reserves remains within S$52 billion, he said.
DPM Heng also said that: “We are starting this new term of Government from a most challenging fiscal position”.
For this financial year, the Government is already expecting operating revenues to be 16% lower than initial estimates presented at the Unity Budget in February 2020, he said. -/TISG