Tharman walks fine line over clashing demands

The avenues to raise funds are open but each comes with trade-offs

[SINGAPORE] Balancing the Budget has never been a problem for the Singapore government. But as the yearly deluge of pre-Budget recommendations and petitions shows, balancing the needs and wants of various groups - and deciding how best to keep a surplus - is getting ever more tricky.

As Singapore's population ages rapidly and healthcare costs rise, as redistribution to ensure "inclusive growth" gains urgency, and as companies seek help to ride out economic restructuring by being more productive, a marked increase in public spending looks inevitable.

The question is: how will this be financed? Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted this in the last National Day Rally speech - the major political...

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