DPM Heng Swee Keat to deliver Budget speech on Feb 18

He describes Budget as a strategic financial plan to tackle near-term and long-term issues

Live television and radio coverage of the Budget will be available.
Live television and radio coverage of the Budget will be available.PHOTO: REUTERS

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat will unveil the annual Budget in Parliament on Feb 18, a Tuesday.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced the date in a statement yesterday.

There will be live television and radio coverage of the Budget, and a live webcast will also be available on the Singapore Budget website.

In a Facebook post yesterday, Mr Heng said that the Budget is a strategic financial plan to address near-term and long-term issues.

"Each Budget builds on past Budgets, and lays the groundwork for future Budgets. It also reflects our responsibilities as a nation, our hopes as a society and our priorities for our people," he wrote.

"As we come close to the end of a decade, Budget 2020 provides us with the opportunity to look back at Singapore's progress, draw on key lessons and plan our future to take Singapore forward together."

In his annual New Year message on Tuesday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong assured Singaporeans that the upcoming Budget will have measures to help businesses, workers, families as well as the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable.

He added that while companies will get help to raise their productivity and build new capabilities, workers, especially mid-career PMETs - professionals, managers, executives and technicians - will be given a hand to retrain, find new jobs and stay employable.

The social safety nets that protect the poor, the elderly and the vulnerable will be improved, and "we will help households with their cost of living", the Prime Minister said.

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Projecting for the Republic's long-term prosperity has not shifted the Government's focus from short-term challenges.

In a message released by the People's Action Party on New Year's Eve, Mr Heng said the Government is looking at measures to tackle the economic slowdown even as it builds for the longer term.

He acknowledged Singaporeans' concerns about the slowing economy and growing uncertainty in the global environment.

"We are committed to investing in and creating opportunities for Singaporeans to make a better life, and ensuring that no one is left behind if they put in effort," said Mr Heng, who is the ruling party's first assistant secretary-general.

He said that in the coming year, the Government will also step up support for businesses to transform and help workers acquire new skills, in addition to supporting families and caring for seniors.

MOF said the ongoing public feedback exercise is set to conclude on Jan 10 this year and it thanked Singaporeans for giving their views through government feedback agency Reach or various feedback sessions.

• The public can still give feedback to the Ministry of Finance through the Singapore Budget website at www.singaporebudget.gov.sg, the Reach Budget microsite at www.reach.gov.sg/budget2020 and Reach's social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2020, with the headline 'DPM Heng to deliver Budget speech on Feb 18'. Subscribe