Public can offer feedback ahead of Budget 2020

The Government is seeking feedback from Singaporeans on a range of topics, including how existing schemes to encourage families to offer mutual care and support can be improved. PHOTO: ST FILE

What is stopping workers from going for training? Do existing housing grant schemes offer enough support?

Members of the public are being asked for their views on a range of topics ahead of Budget 2020, scheduled to be delivered in Parliament in February next year. They can use booths and kiosks in areas such as Toa Payoh HDB Hub and at over 20 locations around the island.

In a statement yesterday, the Ministry of Finance, government feedback unit Reach and the People's Association (PA) said: "Individuals, households and businesses are welcome to provide feedback on topics such as business growth, training and employment, support for families, and support for seniors."

The public can also provide views at the Reach Budget 2020 microsite and in person during a six-week exercise ending on Jan 10. Reach will have Listening Points booths islandwide to receive feedback. Information on dates and venues can be found on its Budget 2020 microsite.

MOF is also partnering the PA and grassroots organisations to reach out to Singaporeans at 25 locations from next Sunday until Jan 5. More information on these locations can be found on the PA website.

There will also be a Pre-Budget 2020 Dialogue tomorrow, open to about 120 members of the public.

It will be chaired by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Education.

People can also give their feedback through the Singapore Budget website, and Reach's social media channels and feedback form.

The feedback being sought has five broad themes: Security and external relations matters; business growth amid current uncertainties; training and employment, which include schemes to support firms and workers; support for families; and support for seniors.

In the light of ongoing threats of terrorism and cyber warfare, the Government wants to find out how else Singaporeans can play a part in enhancing the Republic's security.

On business growth amid current uncertainties, the Government wants to know what businesses need in order to compete better.

It is also looking for feedback on the internationalisation efforts in industries and, in the light of the ongoing United States-China trade tensions, what some of the challenges and opportunities are for companies.

The Government also wants to know what are some of the barriers to workers taking up more individual-based training, and the barriers for employers sending their workers for training, as well as how these barriers can be tackled.

It also wants to know how existing schemes to encourage families to offer mutual care and support can be improved. These schemes include the Proximity Housing Grant and the Married Child Priority Scheme, as well as tax reliefs for topping up the Central Provident Fund accounts of family members.

Finally, on support for seniors, the public can suggest how the Government can further encourage and support older workers in continuing employment.

The Government is also seeking the views of Singaporeans on longer-term issues by asking how it can form stronger partnerships to address future opportunities and challenges facing Singapore.

The Straits Times will be providing live coverage as Mr Heng announces the details in Parliament.

There will be livestreaming of his speech and a live blog on our website, as well as a Budget microsite and updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Readers can also sign up for e-mail updates of the proceedings.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2019, with the headline Public can offer feedback ahead of Budget 2020. Subscribe