Public feedback sought ahead of Budget 2019

The Ministry of Finance is inviting individuals, households, and businesses to provide feedback in preparation for Budget 2019.
The Ministry of Finance is inviting individuals, households, and businesses to provide feedback in preparation for Budget 2019.PHOTO: ST FILE

The views and suggestions of Singaporeans are being sought in preparation for Budget 2019, by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and government feedback unit Reach.

The Budget is scheduled to be delivered in Parliament in February.

"Individuals, households and businesses are welcome to provide feedback on topics such as how our businesses can be more innovative and competitive, how citizens can play a part to strengthen community resilience, as well as how we can continue to care for and support one another," the MOF said in a statement yesterday.

From today, they can submit views at the Reach Budget 2019 microsite www.reach.gov.sg/budget2019. During the six-week exercise, ending on Jan 11, Reach will hold six Listening Points sessions across Singapore to gather feedback from Singaporeans in person. Information on dates and venues can be found on the website.

A Pre-Budget 2019 Dialogue with members of the public will be held on Thursday, chaired by Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Finance and Education. Reach chairman Sam Tan, Minister of State for Social and Family Development, and Foreign Affairs, will co-chair the dialogue.

People can also give their feedback via Reach's social media channels, e-mail address, toll-free hotline and mobile number.

The feedback being sought has five broad themes.

On ageing and healthcare, the Government wants to find out how to help seniors receive affordable care in the community, and how the private sector and society can partner the Government to encourage a healthier lifestyle for everyone.

Under support for families, while the Government has increased spending on pre-school programmes, it is looking for suggestions on other early support needed to create a conducive environment for children from lower-income or vulnerable families, as well as other areas in which it can work with the community to help these families.

Another theme is innovation, which can help firms gain a long-term competitive edge. Members of the public can share their views on what companies and workers can do to become more innovative, and suggest how the Government and society can better support firms and individuals to be more innovative.

On security and external relations, people can suggest how citizens can partner the Government to ensure domestic security and strengthen community resilience. Also, ideas are being sought on what other partnerships the Government can look into apart from existing ones such as the Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps, SGSecure national movement and Singapore Civil Defence Force's Community First Responders.

Under the fifth theme, on philanthropy and volunteerism, the public can suggest ways that Singaporeans can be more inclusive and to encourage more people to volunteer or to give.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 03, 2018, with the headline 'Public feedback sought ahead of Budget 2019'. Print Edition | Subscribe