An Inclusive Society, A Stronger Singapore
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivered the Budget Statement for the Financial Year (FY) 2012 Budget on 17 February 2012.
Budget 2012 sets out the directions that the Government has embarked on to build an inclusive society and a stronger Singapore. The two strategies are:
- Sustaining Economic Growth. We have to upgrade and restructure our economy, so that we grow by increasing productivity rather than by an ever-increasing workforce. Budget 2012 takes further steps to promote this necessary restructuring.
- Building a Fair and Inclusive Society. Restructuring our economy so that we can sustain income growth is our first task in building an inclusive society. We also have to do more to invest in opportunities for lower and middle income Singaporeans. The ageing of our population will accelerate in the next two decades. We must be ready for that. We also have to do everything we can to keep social mobility going through education and jobs, and prevent a permanent underclass in our society from forming. Budget 2012 marks a significant step up in our support for three groups of Singaporeans:
- Older Singaporeans – a comprehensive set of measures to help Singaporeans work, build up savings, stay healthy and have a greater sense of security in retirement.
- Singaporeans with disabilities – we will do more to help maximise their potential at each stage of their lives – in early childhood, school, and as adults.
- Lower income Singaporeans, we will strengthen support for their children’s education, measures to help adults acquire skills, hold good jobs and improve incomes over time. A new and permanent feature in our tax system, GST Vouchers, will provide continuing assurance of a fair and progressive system of taxes and benefits.
More details of the measures introduced in Budget 2012 can be found in the Budget in Brief and Key Budget Initiatives. Visit the Budget 2012 website (www.singaporebudget.gov.sg), where you can read and download the Budget Speech, Budget in Brief and the Key Budget Initiatives.