The past two-and-a-half days have seen 54 parliamentarians take more than 10 hours to debate on this year’s Budget.
And at the end of it, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat rounded up the debate by taking the floor of the house.
We don’t want to bore you by including all the points, so we pulled out two things that might be good for you to know in two minutes max. I sumpah. Let me know if you take longer than that and I’ll buy you coffee.
#1 Why Do We Need to Spend More?
We need to keep healthy, we need to be safe from threats, and we need to educate our children, don’t we? But these cost money.
Some top areas the Government will spend more on are healthcare, security, and education (especially preschool education).
Healthcare – We are facing an ageing population, the number of people with chronic illness like diabetes is on the rise, and new healthcare technology is expensive.
Security – The global terrorism threat has heightened with terror groups like ISIS. Mr Heng predicts that it would take years before the problem is solved.
The range of threats has also widened with terrorists going through upskilling courses to learn how to carry out cyber attacks.
We need to prepare for an uncertain future. So, we now need to invest in security to make sure we upskill and upgrade better and faster than those terrorists.
Education – Preschool spending is expected to double in the next five years. By 2022, Singapore will spend some $1.7 billion in preschool education.
This, according to Mr Heng, is a vital investment in our future.
#2 Why Do We Need to Transform the Economy?
Growing and transforming the economy is the best way to ensure we continue to get healthy revenue and help us all to realise our dreams and aspirations.
It expands and adds value to our industries, creates new industries and helps to create new jobs.
But to do this, our bosses need to play their part to introduce new technology and redesign jobs for workers like you and me.
And workers like us need to do our part and actively upgrade to keep up with the changes.
Mr Heng said that associations and unions also have a part to play – they have to work harder to help us with these things.