Singapore—On Tuesday (June 16) President Halimah Yacob gave the go-signal for funding coronavirus support packages worth a total of S$33 billion. Of this amount, S$31b may come from the country’s reserves, according to straitstimes.com.
Madam Halimah wrote in a Facebook post that she exercised her discretionary power as President on Tuesday morning and gave her assent to the Second Supplementary Supply (FY 2020) Bill, which authorizes the Fortitude Budget that was announced in Parliament by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Heng Swee Keat.
This morning, I exercised my discretionary power as President to give my assent to the Second Supplementary Supply (FY…
On May 26, Mr Heng announced the fourth stimulus package to address the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The Fortitude Budget provides for further relief measures for businesses and households in Singapore.
The President said that even while the country is gearing up for Phase 2 of the further easing of circuit breaker restrictions that were put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which is scheduled for this Friday, June 19, the reality is that Singapore, and indeed the rest of the world, will need to live with the presence of Covid-19 for some time to come.
“Some latest studies even suggested that the virus might have mutated to become more infectious. We have to be prepared to make more adjustments to our daily lives until a viable vaccine or treatment is available. We need to take all the necessary precautions to protect our people’s health and safety,” she wrote in her Facebook post.
Madam Halimah added that the country must take the opportunity to adapt swiftly to the many changes brought about by the pandemic, saying that the world “will evolve into a very different one after this crisis.”
She urged the importance of investing in people during this crucial time “to protect livelihoods and reskill— so that we are well poised to emerge stronger from this crisis.” This is the goal of the Fortitude Budget, the President wrote.
“The various agencies administering and implementing these measures have carefully laid out their plans and goals. When they came to brief me and CPA last month, we were convinced that they are necessary for the exceptional circumstances facing us. It is on this basis that I have given my assent to the Bill today, notwithstanding its draw on past reserves.”
In another Facebook post, DPM Heng thanked Madam Halimah for exercising her discretionary decision, as well as the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) for their support.
Today, President Halimah Yacob gave her assent to the Second Supplementary Supply Bill to authorise the Fortitude Budget…
He wrote that he had briefed Madam Halimah and the CPA two times in the recent months about the pandemic and Singapore’s response to it. “COVID-19 is a global pandemic and the deepest economic crisis since Singapore’s Independence. But thankfully, because of the discipline and foresight of past generations, who saved for a rainy day, we have our national reserves to depend on today,” wrote Mr Heng. —/TISG
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