SINGAPORE - This year's Budget is "forward looking and inclusive" and is aimed at bringing Singapore into the next phase of nation building, said President Halimah Yacob on Friday (March 15), as she gave her approval to the Supply Bill.
The Bill, which was passed in Parliament last Friday (March 8) after a nine-day debate, authorises the Government expenditures proposed in the Budget for the next financial year, which starts on April 1 .
In a Facebook post, President Halimah said the Finance Ministry had briefed her and the Council of Presidential Advisers earlier on the Budget, and the Supply Bill was submitted to her for assent on Friday morning.
"As the Budget is unlikely to draw on the Government's Past Reserves, I have exercised the President's discretionary power under the Constitution to give my assent to the Supply Bill," she noted.
Giving her views on Budget 2019, the President said it "provides a good balance between current and future needs".
The strong focus on infrastructure development will help Singapore by expanding capacities in strategic areas and better prepare the country to deal with changes, she said.
Madam Halimah also said that initiatives announced in Budget 2019 have brought cheer to many Singaporeans.
The Merdeka Generation will enjoy benefits to help them age actively and purposefully, with better assurance over future healthcare costs, she added.
An estimated 500,000 Singaporeans born in the 1950s are expected to benefit from the Merdeka Generation Package, for which $6.1 billion has been set aside.
She also said that educators, parents and students have welcomed the implementation of subject-based banding to replace streaming in secondary schools.
The Government is also doubling its efforts to improve Singapore's social systems, by embarking on a concerted and coordinated approach in education as well as community care and support, she said.
"I hope the private and people sectors will similarly step up and do their part for the betterment of our community," she wrote. "I am confident that working together as one people, we can create a better future for ourselves and our future generations."