Many governments spend first, then look for funding. The PAP Government has a different approach.

Government, fund, generation, Singaporeans, surplus, package, promises, spend

In many countries, governments spend first and then look for money to fund the spending. The result is a huge debt burden for future generations when governments make big promises to get elected and then borrow to fund their promises.

The Singapore PAP Government’s approach to spending is different.

The Government set aside money for future spending when it is able to and then spend from what is set aside.

Teo Chee Hean

This ensures the Government’s ability to fulfil their obligations and also honour the sustainability of programmes rolled out.

This is why schemes like the Pioneer Generation Package and the Merdeka Generation Package with an injection of $8 billion and $6.1 billion respectively at inception, pose no financial burden to Singaporeans because they are already fully funded.

With money already set aside, Singaporeans can also be assured of the government’s ability to honour their promises.

No Government should make

empty promises

Back in 2019 when the Merdeka Generation Package was announced, there were concerns over how it would  be funded.

Then Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in response that the Government worked hard to earn its keep.

In the first two to three years of a new term of government, it works very hard to carefully manage the Budget and grow the economy. “Because the rule in the Singapore system is that no government can make – or should make – empty promises on behalf of a future government,” he said in a speech at a Chinese New Year dinner for Tanjong Pagar GRC and Radin Mas SMC in February 2019.

“If we decide to have the Merdeka Generation Package… then it is the responsibility of this term of government to harness its resources to put them into a fund, to make sure that this burden is not passed on to the next government or future governments.”

sgmatters.com spend first then look for the money or set aside money for a specific purpose and spend from money set aside spend first then look for the money or set aside money for a specific purpose

The Pioneer and Merdeka Generation Packages are examples of how surpluses are being used to benefit Singaporeans.

The question often asked of surpluses is: what happened to surpluses?

The simple answer given by Finance Minister and DPM Lawrence Wong is that surpluses are all given back to Singaporeans in different forms. 

We give them (surplus) all back to Singaporeans in different forms.

Whenever fiscal position allows them, the Government makes special transfers including top-ups to Endowment and Trust Funds.

Such funds include the MediFund Endowment Fund, ComCare Endowment Fund, Edusave Endowment Fund, Senior Mobility and Enabling Fund, Progressive Wage Credit Scheme Fund, GST Voucher Scheme, CPF MediSave Top-up scheme and so on.

The injection of funds when there is surplus money means that these funds do not run dry. It ensures the continuity of social programmes for the benefit of Singaporeans

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