Response To Ministerial Budget Statement On 17-2-19

The Singapore People’s Party is happy to note the Government’s subtle but fundamental shift in their social political compact with the announcement of Budget 2019.

It is finally moving towards a society from which citizens and families are expected to take care of themselves, to one where the Government uses surplus resources to aid families and take better care of its citizens.

This is a fundamental shift in PAP policies that came about in the last few years — as the fight for political love from its citizens has taken more centrestage, which has seen the Government move from its slightly right of centre position towards a position which is more left of centre.

This is certainly a step in the right direction especially given the challenges of inequality and growing income divide that Singapore is facing.

Nonetheless, we do note that some concerns of Singaporeans, such as those below, were not covered in the 2019 Budget Speech:

• addressing the declining value of older HDB flats
• reviewing restrictions on use of CPF for medical outpatient purposes
• giving more support for mental health patients
• upgrading infrastructure for disabled
• reducing the high cost of living in Singapore
• improving business succession and productivity in retail, service and F&B sectors
• halting Singapore’s declining total fertility rate by giving more help to couples raising families
• improving work-life balance lifestyle to give Singaporeans more time with their families

We hope that such concerns would be discussed during the Budget debates. We look forward to hearing from the respective Ministries on their plans.

We understand that the Government is expected to accumulate an estimated surplus of about S$15 billion at the end of FY2019.

While it is noted that the Prime Minister’s Office sees a 17.4% increase in its allocated Budget compared to the previous year, it is also noted that Minister Heng Swee Keat has nonetheless debunked the general consensus that Budget 2019 is an election Budget, when he stated that he doesn’t plan based on how close the country is to a general elections.

If that is so, then perhaps the Government should let the public know how it intends to spend the balance of the surpluses which have been built up since the start of the current Parliamentary term.

Singapore People’s Party

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