Keeping the powder dry with an eye on the future

A few days before Singapore's 2019 Budget was announced, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat noted in an interview that any Budget should not be looked at in isolation. It should be seen within the context of previous Budgets. He couldn't have been more correct. While a Budget is ostensibly about dollars and cents - how to raise funds; how to spend funds - it is ultimately a strategy document about an economy's future.

For Singapore, the main goals of that strategy have been to keep Singaporeans safe and secure, deal with economic transformation and a changing global environment, and to continue building an inclusive and caring society. And, of course, to do all these while maintaining fiscal prudence.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2019, with the headline 'Keeping the powder dry with an eye on the future'. Print Edition | Subscribe