Public feedback sought 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.
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

SINGAPORE - The public can use booths and kiosks in areas such as Toa Payoh HDB Hub and more than 20 locations around the island to offer their views and suggestions ahead of Budget 2020, which is scheduled to be delivered in Parliament in February next year.

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, and the impact the United States-China trade tensions have had on internationalisation efforts by companies.

In a joint statement on Sunday (Dec 1), the Ministry of Finance (MOF), 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 and suggestions at the Reach Budget 2020 microsite from Sunday.

Feedback can be given in person as well, through various initiatives during a six-week exercise from Monday, ending on Jan 10.

Reach will have Listening Points booths islandwide in areas such as Toa Payoh HDB Hub and Raffles Place for Singaporeans to give feedback. Information on dates and venues can be found on its Budget 2020 microsite.

MOF is also partnering the PA and grassroots organisations in the Ask Kopi Kakis initiative to reach out to Singaporeans at 25 locations islandwide from Dec 8 to Jan 5. Grassroots volunteers will set up kiosks in communities for Singaporeans to give their views for Budget 2020.

An initiative by PA, Ask Kopi Kakis is available at all community centres for residents to learn more about government policies and schemes. More information on the 25 Ask Kopi Kakis kiosks that will be set up for Budget 2020 feedback can be found at www.pa.gov.sg/Newsroom/News/Detail/Share-Your-Views-Ahead-of-Budget-2020 

There will also be a Pre-Budget 2020 Dialogue on Dec 3, open to about 120 members of the public.

 
 

The dialogue will be 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 through the Singapore Budget website, and Reach's social media channels and feedback form.

The feedback being sought has five broad themes.

On security and external relations matters, in 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 aside from existing efforts and programmes.

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 how the internationalisation efforts in industries are progressing and, in light of the ongoing US-China trade tensions, what some of the challenges and opportunities in internationalisation are for industries and companies.

Under training and employment, while there are schemes to support firms and workers, the Government 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 addressed.

On support for families, the Government 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 (CPF) accounts of family members.

Finally, for support for seniors, aside from the current measures to deal with Singapore's ageing population, the public can suggest how the Government can further encourage and support older workers in continuing employment.

For seniors who are unable to work longer due to health or personal reasons, the public can suggest ways their family, relatives or community groups could partner the Government to support their needs.

Outside of the five themes and in the spirit of SG Together, the Government seeks Singaporean's views on longer-term issues by asking how it can form stronger partnerships to address future opportunities and challenges facing Singapore.