Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat to deliver Budget 2018 on Feb 19

Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will deliver the 2018 Budget on Feb 19. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will deliver this year's Budget on Feb 19.

It is expected to draw much attention, coming after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last November that taxes are set to go up as government spending increases.

Experts expect an announcement at this year's Budget that the goods and services tax (GST) will be raised within the next few years.

GST has remained at 7 per cent for the last decade.

There will be live television and radio coverage of the Budget statement, and members of public can also tune in to a live webcast on the Singapore Budget website, said the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in a statement on Monday.

The Budget statement will be uploaded on the website after it has been delivered in Parliament.

Real-time updates of key announcements will also be posted on the MOF's Facebook page and Twitter account.

MOF in its statement said it encourages the public to continue sending in their views and suggestions on issues relevant to Budget 2018.

The ongoing feedback exercise will close on Jan 12, and members of public can submit their comments through channels including the Budget site and several platforms of government feedback unit Reach, including its Facebook page.

Those keen on giving feedback on the Budget can also participate in a live question and answer session on government e-feedback platform Reach's Facebook page on Jan 4, held from 8pm to 9pm.

This will be chaired by Mr Liang Eng Hwa, Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Finance and Trade & Industry, and a member of the Reach Supervisory Panel member, as well as Ms Cheryl Chan, a member of the GPC for Finance and Trade & Industry.

Singaporeans can also share their views and suggestions in person at the two Reach pre-Budget Listening Points.

One will be at the Tanjong Pagar Plaza concourse areas on Jan 9 from 11.30am to 2pm, and another at the Singapore Management University, near Kou Fu Foodcourt, on Jan 12 from 11.30am to 2pm.

After the Budget is delivered, Parliament will debate the Budget statement the following week.

This will be followed by the debate on the spending plans of various ministries, which typically takes two weeks.

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