This year's Budget brings welcome relief for elderly Singaporeans, workers and companies alike, but the devil will be in the details.
Panellists at The Straits Times Budget Roundtable last Saturday said careful implementation will be important to make sure the benefits get to individuals and businesses in need, as some may not know how to access them.
The Pioneer Generation Package and measures to help with health-care costs in particular were welcomed, as these will lessen cost pressures on individual families and help strengthen inter-generational bonds, said Tsao Foundation chairman Mary Ann Tsao and Member of Parliament Lily Neo.
UOB's head of economic-treasury research and investor relations Jimmy Koh added that Budget 2014 continues the Government's recent trend of giving more help to older and lower-income Singaporeans, while health-care consultant Jeremy Lim of Oliver Wyman said the new initiatives should nudge society towards taking better care of each other.
However, some of the announced moves will put more pressure on local companies struggling with rising costs and they could do with more help, said Singapore Business Federation chief executive Ho Meng Kit and KPMG tax partner Gan Kwee Lian.