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MOF seeks views, suggestions for Budget 2020

AHEAD of Singapore's Budget, which is slated to be unveiled in February, the Ministry of Finance is seeking the views and suggestions of all Singaporeans.

"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," MOF said in a joint release with government feedback unit Reach, and the People's Association (PA) issued on Sunday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat said: “The Budget is a strategic financial plan to address both near-term issues and also how we build our future Singapore together. What we put into the Budget reflects our values as a people, our aspirations as a society and our direction as a nation."

"With changes coming fast and furious, we need to prepare ourselves to ride new waves by continuing to build our capabilities and transform our economy. At the same time, we remain committed to strengthening support for fellow Singaporeans, so that we can all progress together. This is how we will build our nation – where every Singaporean has a strong sense of belonging and a part to play in realising our shared future," he added.

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Among the topics on which the government is seeking views is the impact of US-China trade tensions on internationalisation efforts by companies; and the areas of enterprise capabilities that businesses need in order to compete better. 

Other topics on which feeback is being sought include how Singaporeans can play a bigger role in enhancing the nation's  security; and how existing schemes to encourage families to offer mutual care and support can be improved.

The public may provide their views through various channels across a six-week period from Monday, Dec 2 to Friday, Jan 10. They may visit the Reach Budget 2020 microsite (www.reach.gov.sg/budget2020) to submit their views.

During the feedback and engagement period, Reach will hold Listening Points across Singapore to gather views and ideas for Budget 2020. "These Listening Points are easily accessible, open feedback booths set up in prominent areas, such as the Toa Payoh HDB Hub and Raffles Place, for Singaporeans to give their feedback in person," said the release.

Reach will also convene a Pre-Budget 2020 Dialogue on Tuesday evening, Dec 3, chaired by Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Finance and Education. She will be joined by Reach chariman Sam Tan, who is also the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Social and Family Development.

MOF is partnering the PA and its grassroots organisations in their Ask Kopi Kakis initiative to reach out more widely to Singaporeans in the heartlands. During the public feedback phase, grassroots volunteers will set up Ask Kopi Kakis’ kiosks in the community to make it more convenient and accessible for Singaporeans to give their views and suggestions for Budget 2020. The engagement with citizens will take place at 25 locations islandwide.

"I urge all Singaporeans to contribute actively and join us in charting the future for Singapore," said Mr Heng.

“Over the years, we have invested heavily in developing Singaporeans and building Singapore. Through close partnerships with all in our people, private and public sectors, we have created new opportunities for Singaporeans to improve their quality of life," he added.