Budget 2023 to address cost-of-living concerns of S’poreans: DPM Wong

DPM Lawrence Wong said the Government has been doing its part to help Singaporeans during these trying times and will continue to do so. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE – More help for Singaporeans through Budget 2023 is being considered amid the uncertainties and challenges the year will bring, said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong on Saturday.

“The Budget is coming very soon on Feb 14, and so we are also now discussing and thinking through how we can provide more help for Singaporeans to address concerns about the cost of living,” he added.

“The bottom line is that we must never allow our challenges or problems to divide us. That’s not how we do things in Singapore.”

He was speaking at the People’s Association’s Indian Activity Executive Committees’ (IAEC) 45th anniversary celebration dinner held at the Fairmont Ballroom at Raffles City Convention Centre.

The event saw more than 1,000 people in attendance, including grassroots leaders and community partners who were there to celebrate the past work and contributions of the IAEC’s volunteers in promoting social cohesion among the Indian community as well as racial harmony with the wider Singapore community.

Also in attendance were Transport Minister S. Iswaran and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health Janil Puthucheary, who are advisers to the IAEC’s council.

Mr Wong said the IAEC have played an important role in keeping the community united throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, rallying the Indian and wider community.

He said that it was because of the nurturing of close bonds in the community that Singapore continues to remain a high-trust society.

He added: “And it is this deep reservoir of trust that has enabled us to get through what we hope will be the worst of the pandemic.

“And that’s why today we are in a much stronger position – we are more united than before, and our bonds are stronger than before. And this is in stark contrast to many other countries in the world, where the pandemic has further divided and fractured their societies.”

Mr Wong urged Singaporeans to continue working together to tackle the challenges ahead amid an uncertain global outlook given the pandemic, war in Ukraine, potential energy and food disruptions, and inflation and cost-of-living concerns.

He said the Government has been doing its part to help Singaporeans during these trying times and will continue to do so, saying Singaporeans will “never walk alone”.

For instance, Singaporean households have been able to claim $300 worth of Community Development Council vouchers since Jan 3, after up to $700 had been given to adult Singaporeans in GST vouchers in December 2022, he said.

“Our problems should never cause us to splinter or fracture,” said the minister.

He added: “Instead, our approach, whenever we face an issue or a problem or difficulty, is to rally together and to confront the issues head-on as one people. And each time we do so, we learn from the experience, we become stronger and we become more united.

“That’s how Singapore has developed and grown all these decades.”

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