A total of 15.3 billion Singapore dollars (about 11.3 billion U.S. dollars) was set aside under Budget 2019 for special transfers to meet the current and future needs of Singaporeans, the English-language newspaper the Straits Times reported Friday.
This figure was revealed Thursday in a report by the eight-member Estimates Committee.
Of the 15.3 billion Singapore dollars, 6.1 billion Singapore dollars went to the Merdeka Generation Fund, which provides financial and other support to those born between 1950 and 1959; and 5.08 billion Singapore dollars to the Long-Term Care Support Fund, which supports measures like CareShield Life subsidies and the ElderFund assistance scheme.
The rest went to businesses and households, like the one-off SG Bonus that was announced last year to share the fruits of the country’s development with Singaporeans, according to the report.
Estimates Committee gave this update in its 55-page report to the Parliament. Set up by the Parliament, the committee considers the government’s budget and reports on any improvements that can be made.
Noting the “significant amount” of special transfers, Committee Chairman Foo Mee Har said, “The committee urged the government to explore ways to find the right financing solution to fund programmes, balancing competing needs of Singaporeans across generations as well as ensuring the healthcare needs of new cohorts beyond Pioneer and Merdeka generations would receive similar support.”
The Pioneer Generation refers to the Singaporeans born on or before Dec. 31, 1949 and obtained citizenship before Dec. 31, 1986.