PAP MPs welcome Budget 2024 which addresses immediate cost-of-living challenges and invests in long-term goals


MEMBERS of Parliament from the People’s Action Party said that Budget 2024 is a balanced and forward-looking budget that not only addresses Singaporeans’ immediate cost-of-living challenges but invests in long-term goals to bring Singapore forward. 

Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Finance and Trade and Industry Liang Eng Hwa (Bukit Panjang SMC) told this is an impactful budget that not only addresses the immediate concerns on cost-of-living but tackles the structural challenges that we face.  
On mitigating the cost-of-living pressures for households, he said that the enhancements to the Service & Conservancy Charges and U-Save, the CDC vouchers, and cost-of-living special payment will help households cope with rising costs. 

“More importantly, there are a comprehensive set of measures to develop our people; increase their productivity and skillsets so that they become more employable in the new landscape.” He said this would increase wages, which will help in some way mitigate rising costs. 

Mr. Liang is also heartened that the PAP Government has the financial resources to roll out the various initiatives to bring Singapore forward, whether it is immediate or for the long-term. 

Deputy Chairman of the GPC for ManpowerEdward Chia (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) noted that the budget addresses immediate cost pressures facing households and businesses. He said the budget highlights the need to focus on real income growth for Singaporeans to sustain improvements in their standard of living.  

“The structural investments to bolster our economy, attract quality investments, build capabilities in new growth areas through additional research funding and invest in constraints such as clean energy transition give all Singaporeans the best chance to thrive and be the best version of themselves,” he added. 

Significant moves in equipping and enhancing social mobility: Patrick Tay   

GPC Chair for Education Patrick Tay (Pioneer SMC) said that the budget is generous with significant moves to equip Singaporeans with skills and enhance social mobility in Singapore. 

The SkillsFuture Level-Up programme which adds $4,000 credit each to Singaporeans aged 40 and above will help them to upskill with better training courses. “These Singaporeans are more vulnerable to structural and cyclical challenges in the new landscape. The top up will enable them to upgrade themselves and boost their employment prospects.” 

He noted that the training allowance for Singaporeans enrolled in institutes will motivate and lighten the burden of mature Singaporeans wishing to upgrade themselves.  

The additional support for ITE graduates to enroll in diploma programmes is significant. It will encourage them not only to earn their ITE qualifications but upgrade their skills to secure better jobs and pay.  

Budget gives workers confidence that the PAP government is looking after their interests: Desmond Choo

Chairman of the GPC for Manpower, Desmond Choo (Tampines GRC), told that he was excited about how the Budget addresses the concerns of Singapore workers. 
He pointed out the budget tackles cost of living pressures directly by recognising inflationary pressures and provides cash support. It also ensures payouts under schemes like the Workfare Income Supplement cover inflation and increases in the Local Qualifying Salary. 

Workers worried about structural disruptions also have much longer-term support, he added. 

 “The budget gives workers confidence that the PAP government is their keeper and has their backs,” Mr Choo said. 

Chair of GPC for Communications and Information Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson SMC) said this year’s budget emphasises the “scaffolding to support Singaporeans to go further and last longer”, whether it is investing in industries, the digital capabilities, the green capabilities or the skills of Singaporeans. 
“These long-term efforts will help Singaporeans update themselves to have what it takes, from the skills to the motivation, the intrinsic drive…regardless of the changes that may be happening around us,” she added.  
“That’s the best way to inoculate us against the future challenges,” she said.  

“And to always position ourselves as being ready to reskill, upskill and to face the new challenges head on. This is the best way forward.”   

MPs welcome government’s measures to help seniors age in place 

MPs interviewed also welcomed the resources injected by the Government to help seniors in Singapore age in place.  

Member of the GPC for Health Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang SMC) said this year’s budget is the most progressive he has seen. It laid out concrete actions that the PAP government plans to take to help those in need. 
He welcomed the additional $3.5 billion the PAP Government committed for Aged Care SG, which is significant.   

“It signals we are willing to spend more to cater for the super-aged society that we will have soon. This includes ensuring seniors age well in the community.”   

DPM Lawrence Wong announced that the funding would go to care services in the community like more active aging centres nationwide, assisted living facilities, and home nursing services. More resources would also be channeled to support an environment for seniors.   

Citing his constituency – a dementia friendly community, Mr Yip said his team previously had to work with different agencies to use their budgets to implement improvements in the community.

“With this injection of funds under Age Well SG, we can do more facilities with age-friendly features, and do better for our seniors,” he said  

Vice-Chair of PAP Seniors Group Henry Kwek (Kebun Baru SMC) supports this move to help seniors age in place through the Age Well SG programme. 

As a Member of the GPC for National Development, he said the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) Voucher is much needed to reduce short-term costs for young couples renting an HDB flat while waiting for their Build-To-Order flats. 

DPM Wong announced that eligible young families with urgent housing needs will receive a one-year PPHS voucher while their BTO flats are being constructed.  

Mr Kwek looks forward to more details at the upcoming Committee of Supply Debate, for example, the pricing of the Prime and Plus housing options to ensure they remain affordable for Singaporeans.