Budget 2017 to help build inclusive society, strengthen community bonds
More support for those with disabilities and mental health conditions.
20 Feb 2017
As part of efforts to build an inclusive society, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced the Third Enabling Masterplan at Budget 2017.
Support for the disabled: The Masterplan, which was put together by a committee of private and public sector representatives, calls for the better integration of Persons with Disabilities into the workforce, and to give more support to their caregivers. The Government will also expand the availability of special training programmes for graduands from Special Education schools with moderate intellectual and multiple disabilities.
Mr Heng also announced the setting up of a Disability Caregiver Support Centre to “provide information, planned respite, training, and peer support groups”. The centre will also work with voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) to develop and pilot programmes for caregivers of newly-diagnosed Persons with Disabilities. Including existing initiatives, around $400 million per year will be spent on initiatives supporting Persons with Disabilities.
HELPING THOSE WITH MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS
The Government will partner with VWOs to set up more community-based teams to support those in need, and educate the public on mental health issues. The Ministry of Health will also provide mental healthcare services in polyclinics.
The number of Dementia Friendly Communities will also be expanded, while the National Council for Social Services will take the lead in integrating persons with mental health issues with the community. An additional $160 million will be spent on Community Mental Health efforts over the next five years.
STRENGTHENING COMMUNITY BONDS
Several measures were also announced during Budget 2017 to help strengthen community bonds.
Additional funding for VWOs and charities: The VWOs-Charities Capability Fund, which helps VWOs and charities train staff and expand their reach, will receive additional funding of up to S$100 million over the next five years. Self-help groups will also receive an additional S$6 million grant over the next two years.
Sports and culture: The Government has set aside over S$50 million to support community sports. The Sports-In-Precinct and SportCares programmes will also be expanded. For aspiring athletes, there will be an additional S$50 million in grants over the next five years, and another S$50 million set aside to match sports donations dollar-for-dollar.
The Cultural Matching Fund, which provides dollar-for-dollar matching for donations to cultural institutions, will receive a S$150 million top-up.