Eight steps to Budget 2017
One of the most important government events is around the corner. Are you ready for it?
10 Feb 2017
The Minister for Finance is set to deliver the annual Budget Statement on 20 February 2017 in preparation for Singapore’s new fiscal year, which starts on 1 April.
Besides knowing how much benefits or tax reliefs we may receive, the Budget importantly reveals the revised and planned Government revenue and expenditures for the current and upcoming financial years. Through the Budget, we will get a glimpse of how the Government will address Singapore’s macro-economic outlook through forthcoming policies and measures for individuals, households and businesses.
As you can imagine, planning and securing the annual Budget is a complicated process. We’ve simplified it into eight steps:
1. First, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) holds multiple rounds of discussions internally, and with other Ministries and agencies to evaluate national priorities and financial viability.
2. Second, public feedback from different parties, including businesses and individual households, are sought through many avenues, such as public dialogue sessions and online channels.
3. Third, after obtaining the Government’s approval, the Minister for Finance delivers the Budget Statement to Parliament.
4. Fourth, Parliament comes together a week later to debate the Budget. At the end, the Minister for Finance delivers a Round-Up Speech, answering any Members of Parliament’s questions and summing up the Budget’s key points.
5. Fifth, Parliament sits as a Committee of Supply, which examines each Ministry’s expenditure plans. MPs may ask for a symbolic “cut” of a particular Ministry’s proposed Budget, and discuss issues under that Ministry.
6. Sixth, after voting on the Ministry estimates, the Committee of Supply reports its decision to Parliament. Parliament then debates and votes on the resulting Supply Bill.
7. Seventh, the Supply Bill is sent to the President for his approval. The President safeguards the country’s past reserves, and can withhold his or her approval if he or she believes that the estimated expenditure may tap on past reserves.
8. Eighth, if the President agrees to the Supply Bill, the bill is passed into a law called the Supply Act, which controls the Government’s spending in the following fiscal year.