We have to manage our finances in a responsible way: Lawrence Wong

Prudence in Past Reserves- We have to manage our finance in a responsible way

In 1959, Singaยญpore won self-governing status from the British, and general elections were held. Dr Goh Keng Swee resigned as a civil servant to contest as a PAP candidate. When the PAP won, Dr Goh became Singapore’s first Minister.

He soon discovered that the government was almost broke, and expected a budget deficit of $14 million that year. Dr Goh immediately introduced drastic measures to cut spending, including cutting civil service salaries. This was obviously unpopular, but Dr Goh stood firm.

When he delivered the Budget at the end of the year, he proudly declared that the government had achieved a small surplus of $1 million. He had drafted the speech personally, after secluding himself on the remote island of Raffles Lighthouse to concentrate on the task. Dr Goh set the tone for the PAP government, which ever since has steadfastly upheld budget discipline and fiscal prudence.

In his ministerial statement delivered on 5 July 2021, Minister Lawrence Wong said, “๐–๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ, ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ค๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ฎ๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ.”

Mr Wong said that the Government will not hesitate to ‘use the full measure of our fiscal firepower to protect the lives and of Singaporeans’. However, drawing on our past is a major move that the Government will do so only in exceptional circumstances.

Here’s an excerpt of his speech:

Drawing on Past is a major move. We do so only in exceptional circumstances.

That was the case last year. Our economy shrank by 5.4% – the largest fall since independence. Our resident unemployment rate rose to nearly 5%.

At the start of this Financial Year, because we were starting out on a new term, we had to draw on Past again to finance the continuing COVID-related measures in the Budget.

Let me be clear: we will not hesitate to use the full measure of our fiscal firepower to protect the lives and of Singaporeans.

But we also need to be careful about the state of our public finances, and ensure they are sustainable for the future.

In many countries, has led to massive increases in debt levels, which have not been seen since the end of the Second World War.

Not many people are paying attention to how all of these debts will be serviced. They may look affordable now, but will not be so once interest rates increase to more normal levels.

The day of reckoning will come, and the burden will surely fall on the young and generations.

๐–๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐จ๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐ฐ ๐ž๐ฑ๐œ๐ž๐ฉ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ข๐œ ๐๐ž๐›๐ญ ๐š๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฅ๐.

๐–๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ๐ฎ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐ฐ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ, ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ง๐ค๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ข๐ ๐ก๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ฎ๐๐ž๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐š๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ.

When the Protection Framework was introduced in 1991, no one could have foreseen that a pandemic of this magnitude would hit us one day.

๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ซ๐ž๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐ข๐ฉ๐ฅ๐ข๐ง๐ž ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐š๐ฌ๐ข๐๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐ซ๐š๐ข๐ง๐ฒ ๐๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ฎ๐ฌ ๐ข๐ง ๐š ๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐จ๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ฌ๐œ๐š๐ฅ ๐ฉ๐จ๐ฌ๐ข๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ ๐๐ž๐œ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐œ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ซ๐ž๐ง๐ญ ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐ฌ๐ข๐ฌ.

We already expect to draw up to $53.7 billion from our Past Reserves โ€“ ๐ข๐ญโ€™๐ฌ ๐š๐ง ๐š๐ฆ๐จ๐ฎ๐ง๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ก๐ข๐œ๐ก ๐ฐ๐ž ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ง๐จ๐ญ ๐ฅ๐ข๐ค๐ž๐ฅ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐›๐ž ๐š๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฉ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐›๐š๐œ๐ค ๐š๐ง๐ฒ๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐จ๐ง, ๐ข๐Ÿ ๐š๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ.

Our expenditure in FY2020 was the highest ever in the history of our country; and this unprecedented fiscal response has also led to the ๐ฅ๐š๐ซ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ ๐›๐ฎ๐๐ ๐ž๐ญ ๐๐ž๐Ÿ๐ข๐œ๐ข๐ญ ๐ข๐ง ๐’๐ข๐ง๐ ๐š๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐žโ€™๐ฌ ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ.

๐๐จ๐ฐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐ ๐ฌ ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐›๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ, ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฌ๐ก๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ ๐ซ๐ž๐Ÿ๐ซ๐š๐ข๐ง ๐Ÿ๐ซ๐จ๐ฆ ๐๐ซ๐š๐ฐ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ ๐จ๐ง ๐๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐‘๐ž๐ฌ๐ž๐ซ๐ฏ๐ž๐ฌ. ๐ˆ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐š๐ ๐ฐ๐ž ๐ฐ๐ข๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ฉ๐ฉ๐จ๐ซ๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ฌ๐ฎ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ๐œ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ฐ๐ž๐ซ๐ž ๐š๐ฉ๐ฉ๐ซ๐จ๐ฏ๐ž๐ ๐ข๐ง ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐ž๐š๐ซโ€™๐ฌ ๐๐ฎ๐๐ ๐ž๐ญ.

๐“๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ซ๐ž๐ฌ๐ฉ๐จ๐ง๐ฌ๐ข๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐š๐ ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐Ÿ๐ข๐ง๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž๐ฌ.

 

Read also  Full text of Lawrence Wong's speech on race and racism

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