BUDGET 2014

SINGAPORE BUDGET 2014 IN 2-MINUTES

Health care held the attention of the House for more than five hours, the longest so far of any ministry. Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced subsidies to help pay for MediShield Life premiums, the freeing up of Medisave use and home care for the elderly. Parliament also passed the budget of the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth on a day dedicated to building a caring society.

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WORKER'S PARTY MP SYLVIA LIM: WP agrees with the Budget’s unique emphasis on the Pioneer Generation

We agree with the Budget’s unique emphasis on the Pioneer Generation, helping businesses restructure, and the direction towards strengthening social safety nets particularly in healthcare. The specific recognition of Persons with Disabilities is inclusive. This year’s focus on supporting the Pioneer Generation for the rest of their lives is a refreshing departure from public conversations of the past. Instead of just urging respect for our elders as a virtue, some public monies are being set aside to support this special group. Instead of attributing Singapore’s progress mainly to visionary leaders, we are recognizing the contributions of everyone else on equal footing, from followers to mothers and labourers.

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The Miracle of the Singapore Budget 2014

Three cheers indeed for the Singapore Budget 2014. The only group that is almost certainly down in the dumps must be the drinkers of alcohol and smokers. Sin taxes have jumped, and by no small degree. Tax on liquor has risen by a whopping 25 per cent. Your little smoke must now not just be confined to those little yellow boxes at hawker centres or coffee shops but has become distinctly more expensive as tax on tobacco products has risen by 10 per cent. So the squeeze is on there on these but this is notably on little luxuries with have potentially adverse side effects if taken to excess.

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SINGAPORE KIDNEY PATIENTS UNABLE TO AFFORD HEALTHCARE AND CHOOSE TO DIE

Every year, some people choose death over dialysis when their kidneys fail. Without dialysis to clear toxins in their body, they are unlikely to survive long. But there are others who are forced to forgo dialysis because they cannot afford it, or because their families said no. Another four turned down the procedure because they did not want to be a burden to their families as they were "old already". Six rejected dialysis because it was too expensive.

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A GENEROUS BUDGET, BUT WILL THE HELP REACH ALL?

Tsao Foundation chairman Mary Ann Tsao was impressed by how the Pioneer Generation Package covered all aspects of health care that a senior citizen may need. "Health care is pretty broad. There's hospitalisation, there's outpatient care to make sure chronic diseases are managed, and there's long-term care when you become frail. And this package addresses all those components, which is really very good." However, the Government will have to ensure the benefits reach as many of those who are in need as possible, she noted.

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NMP EUGENE TAN: BUDGET 2014 IS ABOUT DOING THE RIGHT THING

The Government has wisely ring-fenced the hefty S$8 billion cost by budgeting for it in its entirety in Budget 2014. This means that the PGP will not appear as a line item in future Budgets, and future governments and generations will not have to bear the responsibility of financing it. Whatever changes come in the next two to three decades, there is money in the kitty to ensure the endeavour to care for our pioneers is not merely a politically expedient one.

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Singapore to Build Fair Society; Distribute Goodies

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam delivered a budget that hopes to build a fair and equitable society on Friday. Details on a “Pioneer Generation” package which was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong earlier this month was unveiled. In addition, more help for students from lower- and middle-income households will be provided through subsidies and tertiary education bursaries

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SINGAPORE BUDGET 2014: A QUICK SUMMARY

With a healthy surplus of S$3.9b, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shamugaratnam rolled out this year’s budget with observably higher social spending. The Pioneer Generation’s package is the boldest delivery of the Government’s commitment to honour the work of “Pioneer Singaporeans”, those who were at least 16 years old during 1965. Special attention to elderly workers (the result of intensive lobbying by the NTUC) had been given.

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Pioneer generation gift I want…

OK, Government, give those who don’t want this option their medical benefits till death. But give others who may have enough rainy day medical savings the option to buy HDB — which we enjoyed till a couple of years ago. Go on, Tharman, show that you are a true maverick who can really think out of the box in Budget 2014

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SINGAPORE BUDGET 2014 WISHLIST FOR PARENTS

The Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) unveiled in 2013 was supposed to provide priority allocation to first-timer married couples with a citizen child below the age of 16 (including those expecting a child) for Build-To-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) flats to better meet their housing needs. Under the PPS, 30% of the BTO flat supply and 50% of the SBF flats will be set aside.

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