President approves Government's 2014 Budget

President Tony Tan Keng Yam has approved the Government's Budget for the Financial Year beginning April 1. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
President Tony Tan Keng Yam has approved the Government's Budget for the Financial Year beginning April 1. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

President Tony Tan Keng Yam has approved the Government's Budget for the Financial Year beginning April 1.

Disclosing this in a Facebook post on Wednesday, Dr Tan said the Council of Presidential Advisers had considered the proposed Budget and recommended that he assent to the Supply Bill, on the basis that the Budget is unlikely to draw on past reserves.

He said he had also been briefed by the Finance Ministry, and had exercised his discretionary power provided for under the Constitution to give his assent.

The President's green light paves the way for the Supply Bill to become law, and it will control how much the Government is allowed to spend, and on what, in FY2014.

After nine days of debate, Parliament last Thursday approved the Supply Bill, comprising $64.37 billion of spending for FY2014, along with $24.78 billion in development estimates.

In his post, Dr Tan also called this year's Budget prudent and responsible, and noted that the pioneer generation package was being funded from current reserves.

He added that it was only right for the Government to take care of the healthcare needs of the pioneer generation, who went through "difficult" years following Singapore's independence.

The $8 billion package is the centerpiece of this year's Budget and will offer Singaporeans aged 65 and above this year, and who became citizens before 1987, healthcare subsidies for life.

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