Singapore promises more assurance package payouts for citizens (while encouraging them not to rely on the gov’t for help)

DPM and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong gives the budget announcement.
DPM and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong gives the budget announcement.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Lawrence Wong stepped up to the podium today to present the government’s Very Important Annual Budget announcements. 

Like any true leader, he started off with some encouraging gobbets about Asia’s economy being the most stable before bringing us down to earth again by reminding us how much we had to tap into our reserves and then lifting us up again by announcing the new Assurance Packages – before saying that no one should rely only on the government for financial help. Understood. 

Back to the part most Singaporeans really want to know – how much will we be getting from the government this year?

DPM Wong announced that all Singaporeans aged 21 and above will receive payouts of between S$700 and S$2,250, which will be distributed over five years. 

These payouts are part of the overall Assurance Package, which now totals to a whopping S$9.6 billion, up from the S$6.6 billion initially planned .

The package was first announced in 2020 to cushion the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) hike and inflation. ICYMI, the GST is set to increase from 8% to 9% next year.

The DPM also said that we should “brace ourselves” for a period of inflation in Singapore and globally. 

Following the payout announcement, Mr Wong reiterated, “We provided comprehensive support last year, and we are doing so again this year.” 

After that, he added that citizens should not be encouraged to rely so heavily on the government year after year to cope with inflation – and that we should also learn to improve and better our skills. 

Okay, noted. 

More money, more problems

The news about more money coming their way managed to keep at least some Singaporean commenters happy – but quite a few online said they were less than assured by the newly announced payouts. 

Questions like why even the rich are receiving help from the government popped up a lot.

As for the rest of the budget announcements, they were summed up well by this one succinct tweet.

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