Come 18 February, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong will deliver Singapore’s Budget 2022 statement in Parliament. This will be the first time he will be delivering the Budget statement as Finance Minister, having taken over the portfolio from Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat last year! Every year after the national Budget is announced to the public, the topmost question on everyone’s mind is “So, how much angpow will we get this year?”.
And more often than not, afterwards, higher income earners walk away feeling annoyed if they do not qualify for the so-called “angpows” – the subsidies and packages targeted to help uplift lower-income citizens. Well, it’s quite clear that many look at the Budget and only think about the “angbaos” instead of looking at the long term perspective.
There really needs to be a mindset shift for Singaporeans to look beyond Government “angbaos” to the multiple initiatives aimed at supporting everyday Singaporeans like you and me! Recap: In case you have forgotten, Budget 2021 provided a comprehensive suite of support measures to create:
- a vibrant economy with good jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans and businesses;
- a cohesive society with a strong social compact and community spirit;
- fiscal and social reserves to enable continued stability and progress.
Many of the initiatives rolled out have had direct and indirect impact on workers of Singapore as well! The Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on jobs would have been worse if not for the strong three-way partnership between the Government, unions and employers…
Together with the support of the unions, these initiatives rolled out last year helped many workers be retained in their jobs amidst the pandemic, upskill and be redeployed from badly hit sectors. Other efforts aimed to help grow and sustain the economy trickled down to support workers.
Now, preparation for Budget 2022 is underway. What can we expect this year? How are finite resources allocated for our needs? Are our plans sustainable? What trade offs need to be made? You can find out more about how Singapore’s Budget is determined every year here.