Singapore Budget 2015: Jubilee Budget focuses on country's future, says PM Lee Hsien Loong

SINGAPORE - The Jubilee Budget focuses on the future by investing in Singapore and helping its citizens prepare for the changes to come, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a Facebook post on Monday night.

 

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"Our Jubilee Budget focuses on the future: building Singapore and helping Singaporeans prepare for changes to come. We want Singaporeans to have greater assurance at each stage of life, more opportunities and a better home for all," he said.

In his post, Mr Lee said: "We will invest continuously in every citizen, and empower you to learn throughout your life, so that you can become expert in your chosen field of work."

Details of the SkillsFuture initiative, which helps workers master job-relevant skills and engage in lifelong learning, were unveiled on Monday. The scheme includes a $500 credit to Singaporeans aged 25 and above, for use on work skills-related courses.

He added: "We will invest heavily in infrastructure to create a highly liveable home with quality healthcare. We will provide additional support to Singaporean families for your costs of living and your retirement."

This means that Government spending will increase, "so we are also making sure that we have enough revenues." To that end, the Government will raise personal income taxes for the top 5 per cent of income earners.

In his Budget speech on Monday, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced a broad range of measures to support workers and their families throughout their careers and into retirement, including help with child care and enhanced CPF savings.

He also outlined major steps to prepare Singaporeans for a future with greater competition, while helping those less able to keep up.

In a Facebook post on Monday evening, Mr Tharman wrote: "We had our Jubilee Budget today, focused on Singapore’s future."

 

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Monday's Parliament session also marked the end of a week of medical leave for Mr Lee, who underwent successful surgery to remove his cancerous prostate gland last week.

In his post, Mr Lee wrote: "Gradually getting back to work. Listened to DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivering the Budget 2015 speech in Parliament this afternoon."

More details on the various initiatives will be shared during the Committee of Supply debates, which start next Tuesday.

Mr Lee encouraged those looking for more information on the Budget to visit www.singaporebudget.gov.sg