Budget planners on fiscal policy, tax and role of reserves

Each year, during Budget season, there is public debate on the hows and whys of Singapore's fiscal policy. The Straits Times speaks to officers at the Finance Ministry to find out more.

The Ministry of Finance's fiscal policy director Peter Lim (far left) and land and infrastructure programmes director Mark Tan speak about issues such as the Government being able to draw on the nation's reserves only up to a certain point, how incre
The Ministry of Finance's fiscal policy director Peter Lim (far left) and land and infrastructure programmes director Mark Tan speak about issues such as the Government being able to draw on the nation's reserves only up to a certain point, how increasing taxes could make Singapore uncompetitive, and about each Budget being more than just a one-off "hongbao".ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

At The Treasury - home to the Ministry of Finance - the coronavirus has been the subject of marathon meetings over the past month, many of which fiscal policy director Peter Lim has been intimately involved in.

He emerged from what one assumes was such a meeting, an hour late for this interview. That same week, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat would announce that a relief package was in the works, to help the transport and tourism sectors hardest hit by the viral epidemic.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2020, with the headline 'Budget planners on fiscal policy, tax and role of reserves'. Subscribe