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BS for Budget Speech… or otherwise?

February 22, 2010

Singapore budgeting process

The Budget Speech is out. It’s a must-read if you want to know what the Government’s position is about our economic growth for FY2010. But then again, most of the paper summarized FY2009 and there was really only a short bit on 2010. In any case, here’s the conclusion:

Fortunately, we have strengths to build on – our willingness to adapt to changed circumstances, our tenacity in overcoming the limitations of a small country and our will to succeed. These are real assets which will help us achieve this next transformation in our economy.

Productivity and Partnerships were highlighted in the Budget Speech and while it does make sense for economic growth, I think it can be applied to environmental mangement and climate change too. Increased productivity will not only save companies excess costs, but reduce the amount of wastage and eventually be better for the planet. However, none of this was mentioned in the budget even though there are significant pressures for the Singapore government to work on this aspect of instilling a sense of environmental responsibility. I guess it just isn’t as important as making sure we reach ”

the goal of growing Singapore’s productivity by 2% to 3% per year, over the next decade. It is an ambitious target, but we can achieve it through a comprehensive national drive by our people to deepen their skills and expertise, and by our enterprises to innovate and create value in new ways.

Sure. Innovation and creating value is an important way that Singaporeans can strive to raise our standard of living, ensure greater equality and lesser disparity in society. But the Budget Speech failed to recognize that productivity is also the key to make companies greener and more environmentally friendly, in an age of climate urgency and crisis. But perhaps it’s not the government’s fault in developing such a budget outlook for FY2010.

I had a look at the feedback page, and I suppose the government’s stand SOMEWHAT reflects the public’s feedback. Take a look here and judge for yourself, whether or not the public’s apathy towards climate change is a factor in the turnout of this year’s BS.

[edit] Green Building Times on facebook just pointed me out to this in the Budget Speech:

Singapore Budget 2010 – We will commit $450 million over five years to start a Public-Private Co-Innovation Partnership for government agencies to work with private sector companies in co-developing innovative solutions for medium- to long-term needs, in areas such as urban mobility, environmental sustainability and energy security.

I must have overlooked that! But still, how much and how long is medium-to-long term? Please be more specific MOF!


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