Budget 2013: What will be in it for me?


Mr Darren Wong, 38, a medical sales personnel

Home: Lives in a four-room flat in Balestier with his wife, Hannah Lee, 35, and their two young children.

Family income: $4,000 to $5,000 a month.

My biggest worry now is: Striking a balance between nurturing a family and being the sole breadwinner.

My wife recently quit her job as an administrator to bring up our two children aged three years and six months.

Singapore has a very stressful and competitive culture and women are encouraged to go back to the workforce as soon as they can. It has become a real dilemma for families who have to choose between financial security as the standard of living continues to rise, and being there for their children.

The Government should: It should not neglect stay-at-home mothers. While it is a personal decision to quit one's job, this segment of women must not be forgotten.

Single-income families have their struggles. The Government may want to step in to lighten the burden of such families on a regular basis, and beyond schemes such as the Baby Bonus.

I hope the Budget will: Address the issue of the lack of financial assistance for full-time mothers. Full-time mothers should be given an allowance.

In Budget 2012

The Budget last year did not focus on families with single incomes. But over the past few years, pro-family policies have been rolled out.

For example, as part of the Marriage and Parenthood Package announced last month, married couples with children born on or after Aug 26 last year will get a bigger Baby Bonus and a grant for their child's Medisave account.

Since 2001, more than 310,000 children have also received a cash gift, and over 240,000 have opened a Child Development Account (CDA) in which savings are matched by the Government dollar-for-dollar.

All in, $2.31 billion has already been disbursed through the Baby Bonus scheme since 2001.

For more news and analysis on Singapore Budget 2013, click here for ST's Big Story coverage.