SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong ended the Budget 2024 speech on Friday (Feb 16) on a positive note, even as he acknowledged the uncertainties the world is currently facing.

“We are living in a world which will become more violent, more fragmented, and more unpredictable in the years to come. We wish this were not so,” he said after having announced the different support packages and targeted components of the Budget.

Mr Wong also acknowledged that situations “may well get worse before they get better” and encouraged Singaporeans to prepare themselves mentally for this, as well as to “adapt to this messy world”.

He acknowledged, however, that this is not the first time Singapore has faced such difficulties, adding, “I believe we can do so again in our road ahead, so long as we stay united, work together, and continue to keep faith in one another.

Budget 2024 is about acting on the belief that we will emerge stronger – we have done it before, and we can do so again in our road ahead. We are helping Singaporeans with their cost-of-living concerns and taking major steps to advance our Forward Singapore agenda.”

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He added that the country is well able to put in place “bold and long-term plans” due to its healthy and sustainable financial position as well as the trust Singaporeans have put in the government.

“Hope for the future, giving back to society, each one of us doing our best to make this a better place for all. That’s what this is about,” said Mr Wong, who also promised to “grow the economy, equip everyone to realize their potential, strengthen our system of risk polling and social support, as well as fortify our resilience, solidarity, and unity.

Let’s move forward with confidence and build our shared future together.”

Mr Wong said in a short reel posted to his Facebook page that this year’s Budget is all about “taking concrete steps to build our shared future together.”

“We will continue to harness our strengths to remain a shining red dot in a troubled world,” he wrote.

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This year’s Budget covers a wide range of support and subsidies for families and individuals, especially senior citizens and younger seniors, as well as businesses, while also addressing concerns regarding wages and cybersecurity. /TISG

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