Budget 2017

by Patrick Liew on February 20, 2017

Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister of Finance will deliver Budget 2017 on Monday, 20 February 2017.

In the final analysis, the motives, means and ends of a good budget is to improve Singaporean’s quality of life. That should be the focus and basis for evaluating success of Budget 2017.

Budget 2017 should be targeted, balanced and catalytic in helping Singapore position ourselves for the next level of growth.

1. We should continue to strengthen our infrastructure and implement major market and structural reforms so as to reinvent ourselves to become not just a regional but also a global hub.
These reforms are not just about developing new markets, businesses, and sources of growth.

They are also about helping our local enterprises become more competitive and be transformed into global players.

2. The Budget should support fiscal policies that will help redistribute wealth in a more equitable way.

It should support inclusive growth, including addressing widening income or wealth gap, and limitations of social mobility and deep-seated poverty in some quarters of society.

3. Local enterprises are struggling through the double whammy of a slowing down of the economy and increasing business costs.

They operate in a tight labour market and face headwinds competing with advanced technology, online businesses, and other direct and indirect players in an open and global environment.

The Budget should help our small and medium enterprises have better availability, affordability and accessibility of capital and other resources to help them compete and grow their businesses.

4. As we come to grips with the fast-changing economy, many of our workers, including elderly and other disadvantaged workers and many PMETs will find that their knowledge and skills will soon become ineffective and even irrelevant.

The Budget should make provisions to help these workers redesign, re-skill, retool, and reinvent themselves so as to have a more stable, secure, and sustainable career.

5. The Budget should incentivize more bottom-up and peer-to-peer initiatives to build on the “one united people” spirit, and strengthen families and communities.

It should encourage public, private and people sectors to connect, collaborate and co-create solutions for our collective future.

Develop a home where Singaporeans can have a deep sense of rootedness and belonging. A home where we’ll look out for each other and look after the last, the least, the lonely, and the lost.
A lovable and livable home that we can be proud of and where we believe we can find purpose, happiness and fulfillment.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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