The Covid-19 budget measures helped Singapore to avoid a worse recession and avert job losses, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in parliament, as part of the 2021 Budget statement (Feb. 16).
"Without the fiscal and monetary policy measures, Singapore's GDP would have shrunk by at least 12.4 per cent, more than double the contraction we experienced", he said.
Singapore's GDP contracted by 5.4 per cent, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).
The overall budget deficit for Financial Year 2020 was also the largest since Singapore's independence, at S$64.9 billion, or 13.9 per cent of Singapore's GDP.
This is the sixth time that Heng is delivering the Budget statement, since he took over as Finance Minister in 2015.
DPM Heng: Covid-19 budget measures save jobs
Heng said that the Covid-19 Budget measures were estimated to save or create 155,000 jobs on average over 2020 to 2021, preventing resident unemployment from rising a further two percentage points in 2020.
He also noted that Singapore was able to mount a whole-of-government response to Covid-19 decisively, because successive generations have built up strong reserves ahead of the Covid-19 crisis.
Heng subsequently thanked President Halimah Yacob for her support for the use of past reserves to fund the government's response to Covid-19.
Top image from Heng Swee Keat Facebook page.