Singapore To Withdraw $11 Billion From Past Reserves To Fund Covid-19 Resilience Package

Budget 2021 announced on Tuesday (16 Feb) was set to deal with challenges presented as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as longer-term ones like climate change.

To help the country through these trying times, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said the government will be drawing on its past reserves for the 2nd consecutive year.

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President Halimah has reportedly given her in-principle support for the proposed draw.

Singapore to withdraw $11 billion from reserves in FY2021

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (16 Feb), DPM Heng shared that Singapore will be drawing up to $11 billion from past reserves in FY2021 to fund the Covid-19 Resilience Package.

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Of the sum, $9.3 billion was, in fact, drawn last year, but not used, reports The Straits Times.

This will bring the total amount drawn from our reserves over FY2020 and FY2021 to $53.7 billion.

As a result, Singapore is expected to incur a deficit of $11 billion this year, which amounts to 2.2% of gross domestic product (GDP).

President Halimah gives in-principle support

According to the post, President Halimah has given her “in-principle support” for the proposed draw. She also confirmed her approval in a separate post.

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Moving forward, DPM Heng said Singapore’s fiscal situation would be “tighter” for the next few years.

Beyond this crisis, we must return to running balanced budgets.

Ending his post, he urged Singaporeans to rally together and to emerge stronger from the pandemic as a nation.

Thankful we have past reserves to help Singaporeans

Since Covid-19 hit Singapore, the country has been plunged into uncharted depths, with the government going to extraordinary lengths to support citizens.

But as Singaporeans, we are thankful that we have reserves to tide us through such difficult times.

With more funding poured to help worst-hit sectors, we should continue to do our part as socially responsible people to contain the spread of the pandemic. Hopefully, this year will be a less painful one than the last.

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Featured image adapted from Unsplash