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Slower pace of life comes with trade-off, says Shanmugam

Published on Jul 13, 2013 8:16 AM
 
Mr Shanmugam (right) at a forum at NUS last night. He painted a stark picture of the scale of the challenges facing Singapore. -- ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

IF SINGAPOREANS want a slower pace of life, they must also accept a trade-off in living standards, Law and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam said at a forum at the National University of Singapore (NUS) last night.

He painted a stark picture of the scale of the challenges facing the country, as pressures from an ageing society set in and the competition on its doorstep heats up.

There is also a fiscal challenge as public spending already outstrips revenue from taxes in this year's Budget, a situation that is likely to exacerbate in the coming decades. The only reason there is no actual deficit is the income stream from the reserves built up over many years.

Weighty realities like these "keep ministers up at night", he said, as they seek to maintain the focus on the long-term development of the country.

 
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