Singapore’s budget in 2021: Transforming the built environment value chains

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Singapore, 17 February 2021 – Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, and Minister for Finance, Heng Swee Keat, delivered the Singapore government’s budget statement for financial year (FY) 2021 in parliament yesterday.

The government will commit a total of S$107 billion in FY 2021. An $11-billion COVID-19 Resilience Package (CRP) will address Singapore’s immediate needs to safeguard the health of Singaporeans, continue support for workers and businesses, as well as provide more targeted support for the worst-hit sectors. This includes S$4.8 billion dedicated towards public health and safe re-opening measures. The remainder is channelled towards support for workers and businesses that continue to face difficulties.

For the next phase of industry transformation, the government will move beyond support for individual companies to focus on the transformation of entire value chains, starting with the built environment sector through the new Growth and Transformation Scheme.

Looking ahead, as companies and industries transform and new growth areas emerge, Singaporeans will need new knowledge and skills to emerge stronger. To help individuals take on new jobs in growth sectors, the government will allocate an additional S$5.4 billion to a second tranche of the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, including an extension of the Jobs Growth Incentive (JGI). The SGUnited Skills, SGUnited Traineeships, and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways programmes will also be extended to assist workers who require additional support before landing a job.

Read: Construction is among the top sectors hiring new local workers

The government will moderate Singapore’s reliance on foreign labour, as well as complement the local workforce with foreign specialist skills and expertise. The capability transfer programme will also be extended to support foreign-to-local skills transfer.

A car-lite society will continue to be the main goal for domestic transport. Along with investments in public transportation, the government will introduce various measures to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and discourage the use of internal combustion engine vehicles. This includes the installation of 60,000 charging points at public carparks and private premises by 2030, and setting aside S$30 million over the next five years for EV-related initiatives.

Sustainability efforts will also require capital. The government will take the lead by issuing Green bonds on select public infrastructure projects. For a start, up to S$19 billion of public Green projects have been identified. The public sector will commit to more ambitious sustainability goals under the new GreenGov.SG initiative.

– Construction+ Online

Source: Ministry of Finance