Singaporean youths react to Budget 2021
Most youths we spoke to were supportive of the measures announced during Budget 2021.
Named “Emerging Stronger Together”, Budget 2021 was announced in Parliament by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Tuesday, Feb 16.
Targeted at helping Singapore continue its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the measures include the enhancement of healthcare workers’ salaries, a Resilience Package worth $11 billion to safeguard public health and reopen safely, as well as the delay of the GST increase in 2021.
A new $900 million Household Support Package has been introduced, while the Arts and Culture, Sports Resilience Packages and Jobs Support Scheme will be extended too.
We spoke to some youths to get their thoughts on Budget 2021.
Importance of retaining workers in the health sector
“It is a well-known fact that nurses in Singapore are underpaid so I feel that enhancing the salaries of healthcare workers is a good move. It shows that the Government is finally recognising our efforts and that they are starting to listen to those on the ground.
“This is especially important, pandemic or not, because it can help in retaining workers in the healthcare sector. Hopefully this changes how people look at nursing or those in healthcare in general.
“Being in the nursing profession may not be glamorous, but we save lives because we care about people, who could even be ourselves or our family members one day.” – Mark Ong, 27, nursing student
Apprehensive about the increase in petrol prices
“In response to the increase in petrol duty, I feel that people who are using their vehicles, such as private hire drivers and couriers, may find this price hike unwelcome as their income will be affected.
“Once my internship ends I am planning to start work as a parcel delivery driver but because of this, my income over the school break will be reduced. As such, I might have to find an alternative job instead.” – Julian Tay, 19, student
Leading by example in combating climate change
“I feel gratified that the Government is using most of its budget towards sustainability, especially for the agriculture food sector and promoting the use of electric vehicles. If done successfully, our country’s carbon emissions will be greatly reduced and the quality of life of Singaporeans would improve.” – Michelle Yeo, 20, student
“I like how the government is encouraging every citizen to contribute to saving the earth, and asking corporates to push their employees to do so.
“There are many movements, such as recycling, where it’s mostly just talk. While every man can play a part, it cannot compare to what companies and the government can do with their influence and money. So I like that instead of just encouraging us to do the right thing, they’re also leading by example.” – Xendy Ong, 21, student
“With the SINGA legislation, I think it’s admirable that the Singaporean government is very forward thinking and detailed in its plans for the country to progress in the future. For example, adding new MRT lines and even infrastructure to protect Singapore against rising sea levels was something that I was quite impressed by.” – Denilson Fernando, 20, student
Extension of Jobs Support Scheme welcomed
“Given the unprecedented times we are in, it’s nice to see the Government doing their part to support those working in the tourism industry, which has been badly affected by the pandemic, through the extension of the Jobs Support Scheme.
“It is definitely assuring and goes to show that our hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed and will in turn motivate us.” – Pradhib s/o Ravisander, 26, Guest Service Agent