REACH, the Government’s feedback and engagement arm, revealed yesterday that the Budget 2019 Feedback Exercise it recently concluded showed that Singaporeans generally support Budget 2019.
High proportions of respondents also expressed support for the Government’s efforts to provide better job opportunities to workers. 80 per cent of respondents also expressed support for the enhancement of the Workfare Income Supplement that would enable more workers to receive payouts.
Interestingly, REACH recorded lower levels of support for the Government’s initiative to gradually reduce the foreign worker quota and S Pass worker ratio for the services sector.
As he delivered the budget last month, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said that foreign manpower growth could be on “an unsustainable path” and that “Relying on more and more foreign workers is not the long-term solution.”
REACH said that only 66 per cent of respondents who engaged the agency’s listening points and 58 per cent of respondents who were polled via the telephone supported this initiative to slash foreign manpower in the services sector.
The feedback agency also reported that some respondents urged the authorities to keep healthcare costs affordable in the long term, even as they welcomed the enhancement to the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) that was rolled out in the Budget.
According to the Straits Times, REACH chairman Sam Tan said that the results of the feedback exercise indicate that “most Singaporeans understand that the Budget 2019 announcements address both short-and long-term needs of Singapore, as well as those of Singaporeans.”
Netizens responding to the findings of the REACH poll, however, have suggested that the findings paint a rosy picture instead of accurately reflecting ground sentiments and questioned the veracity of the findings:
The findings of the REACH poll also contradicts the findings of other surveys that were done after the budget.
A Yahoo Singapore poll conducted on the heels of the Budget 2019 speech showed that Singaporeans are mostly unimpressed by the budget, despite goodies like the Bicentennial Bonus and the Merdeka Generation Package that were announced ahead of what many perceive to be an election year.
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