Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat

In an interview with state media CNA, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat confessed that the country will be poorer and promised Singaporeans that he “can manage”:

“Singapore’s financial position will be a lot weaker in the coming years, but the government will continue to find ways to manage this difficult financial situation.”

When asked how he is going to “manage”, Minister Heng Swee Keat avoided talking about tax and CPF hike:

“I will address the issue of how we are going to ensure that we continue to have the fiscal power to keep Singapore safe, not just in this one year, two years, but for the long term and I will address Parliament on this issue later.”

The Prime Minister successor said the latest Budget, which is the fourth in this year and provide support to businesses until August, is to prepare for the worsening coronavirus outbreak in the island country. Minister Heng Swee Keat said he might give the 5th Budget if the government is still unable to bring down daily new cases:

“After presenting four Budgets within such a short period of time, I will say that ‘never say never’. The Fortitude Budget has been sized in such a way that it allows Singapore to respond should the situation deteriorate.”