Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam warned that Singapore cannot forget the importance of staying internationally relevant. He noted that SG50 is a useful time to restate the realities which inform Singapore's foreign policy. He reminded parliament that Singapore is small, multi-racial, multi-religious and is captured in an evolving geo-political situation.
Speech Delivered by SPP NCMP Lina Chiam in Parliament during the Budget Debate: Yes, Budget 2015 is a breakthrough Budget, but there is a need to identify who this breakthrough is for. "There is no free lunch", this has been the mantra of this Government for a very long time. In keeping with this mantra, for about 50 years, assistance schemes have been kept measly and targeted at a small group of people.
Madam Speaker, I welcome the initiatives outlined in Budget 2015 to support and invest in the development of Singaporeans, young and old, and to help working class Singaporeans save more for retirement. It is also fundamental that the government has recognized that beyond the safety net offered by the Public Assistance Scheme for the neediest in our society, there lies at the fringe a group of older Singaporeans who need help to make ends meet in retirement amidst rising costs of living.
During the budget debate in parliament, Nominated Member of Parliament Chia Yong Yong expressed her disapproval of giving more flexibility to CPF members to withdraw their savings. NMP Chia warned that leaning too much to the left and giving out too many benefits will mean that we may run out of money.
By MP for Aljunied GRC, Pritam Singh [Delivered in Parliament on 4 Mar 2015] Madam Speaker, A major theme of this year’s Budget revolves around preparing Singapore and Singaporeans for the future. The two aspects of the Budget that are the focus of my speech are SkillsFuture and more briefly, the inclusion of Temasek in the Net Investment Returns (NIR) framework.
Finance Minister Thraman Shanmugaratnam announced a Silver Support Scheme designed to give permanent payouts to the poor elderly who do not have enough in CPF Savings to get by in old age. Raising concerns about the scheme in the budget debate, PAP MP Chia Shi-Lu from Tanjong Pagar GRC asked if this was sustainable in the long-term.
Speaking in parliament during the budget debate, MP for Marine Parade GRC Tin Pei Ling explained that Singaporeans should not become overly dependent on the revenues generated from our national reserves. She said that we should not take such money for granted. Her warning comes after Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam explained that they would be adding the investment returns of Temasek Holdings into the Net Investment Returns (NIR) framework so that the government can use the money from Temasek's investments.
By Non-Constituency MP, Gerald Giam [Delivered in Parliament on 3 Mar 2015] Mdm Speaker, The DPM and Finance Minister has laid out the key thrusts for the Government in his Budget statement. My speech will focus on retirement adequacy and the CPF scheme in particular. Th CPF scheme has a long history in Singapore that pre-dates our independence.
The budget is being debated in parliament today and the workers party has called on the CPF to be even more flexible than the PAP has proposed. WP called on the draw-down age to be lowered to 60 so that CPF members can start to enjoy monthly payouts from 60 rather than the current 64 or 65 for those turning this age in 2018.