President Halimah gives approval to Supply Bill

Budget 2018 has the right balance of preparing Singapore for the future while helping citizens weather disruptions, President Halimah Yacob said yesterday while giving her approval to the Supply Bill. This authorises how much the Government can spend for the financial year, which starts on April 1.

The decision was supported by the independent advice of the Council of Presidential Advisers that recommended she assent to the Bill as the Budget is unlikely to draw on the nation's past reserves.

Any expenditure that draws on Singapore's past reserves requires the President's agreement.

This is to ensure Singapore plans its Budget in a financially disciplined manner, Madam Halimah wrote in a Facebook post.

"We are faced with tremendous challenges in the face of rising protectionism, threats to global security and geo-political shifts," she said. "As a small country which is very dependent on trade and investments, our survival depends on an open and fair global trading system, which is under threat," she added.

"At home, we need to prepare for a rapidly ageing population and huge transformations fuelled by technology," she said. "How we deal with these challenges will determine our future."

She also said heavy investments in infrastructure and building people's capabilities will ensure Singapore continues to "maintain social cohesion and inclusivity" while remaining competitive.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 14, 2018, with the headline 'President Halimah gives approval to Supply Bill'. Print Edition | Subscribe