Budget to address Singapore’s immediate and long-term economic needs: PM Lee

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said Friday (27 January) that the upcoming Budget will address the country’s immediate needs amid the economic slowdown.

In his Chinese New Year message, Lee said that economic growth was sluggish in 2016 but picked up at the end of the year, adding that he hoped the momentum will continue this year.

In addition, the Committee for the Future Economy (CFE), led by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat and Trade and Industry Minister (Industry) S Iswaran, will soon release its report, which will set out the growth strategies in the next 10 to 15 years.

“It will identify new and promising industries and sectors, and plans to ensure that our children and grandchildren will enjoy many opportunities when they enter the workforce,” Lee said.

The Budget will then unveil “concrete measures” to implement the CFE proposals, Lee revealed.

Lee also urged Singaporeans to persevere with upgrading as it is the only way to improve their lives. He acknowledged that “economic restructuring is hard work for both businesses and workers”.

“It is not easy for workers to learn new ways to do things or to switch jobs. Neither is it easy for businesses to change the way they work, or develop innovative products and new markets,” Lee said.

But he expressed confidence that Singapore will succeed in its efforts to reshape the economy as it has done so in the past.

On the social front, Lee said that the government is doing its best to help Singaporeans set up families and have children.

Among the steps are expanding preschool, childcare and infant care places, providing more affordable and good kindergartens and shortening waiting times for HDB flats.

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