In 1959, Singapore's first Finance Minister Dr Goh drafted the budget for a PAP government that was almost broke, and turned in a small surplus of $1million at the end of the year. He set the tone for the PAP government, which ever since has steadfastly upheld budget discipline and fiscal prudence.
In many countries, COVID-19 has led to massive increases in debt levels, which have not been seen since the end of the Second World War. 𝐖𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐞𝐰 𝐞𝐱𝐜𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐜 𝐝𝐞𝐛𝐭 𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝. 𝐖𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐰𝐞 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐝𝐚𝐲, 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐤𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐟𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐫𝐮𝐝𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐬.
It is 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐢𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐚𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐲 𝐝𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐬 𝐩𝐮𝐭 𝐮𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐚 𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐠 𝐟𝐢𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐥 𝐩𝐨𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐬.