SINGAPORE: President Tony Tan has given his assent to the Supply Bill, which authorises the Government expenditures proposed in Budget 2017.
In a Facebook post on Thursday (Mar 16), Dr Tan said that after due consideration, he and the Council of Presidential Advisers (CPA) concur that the year's Budget, with an expected surplus of S$1.9 billion, is unlikely to draw on Singapore's past reserves.
He noted that the elected president's discretionary power in the supply process is a constitutional safeguard to ensure that any expenditure drawing on the country's past reserves need the concurrence of the president.
"In exercising this discretionary power, I have the benefit of receiving the independent advice of the CPA," Dr Tan said, adding that this institution means Singapore will always look to a prudent approach of "fiscal sustainability and financial discipline" when it comes to planning the nation's budget.
In the post, Dr Tan said Budget 2017 "is about preparing Singapore for the future".
"Our future is unpredictable and bound to be more challenging. Countries across the world are adopting a more insular approach. If translated to protectionist actions, this approach will impact the global economy, slowing trade and investments. As a nation, we must prepare ourselves for this future of change," he wrote.
Calling it a "future-oriented Budget", Dr Tan said the year's expenditure plan "reinforces the need for us to continue building capabilities and strengthening the partnerships among public, private and people sectors".
He added that while current needs are important, it is also vital to "build a home for ourselves and future generations of Singaporeans".
"Budget 2017 is also about ploughing resources back to other important areas, so that our children and children’s children can continue to live in a quality environment and a caring, cohesive society," Dr Tan said. "I am confident that with this right spirit, we can progress as a nation and move forward together as a people."