Budgeting and Planning
Although Singapore billed itself as a free-enterprise
the economic role of government was pervasive. As
for both the nation and the city, the government was
for planning and budgeting for everything from
finance to trash collection. The government owned,
regulated, or allocated land, labor, and capital
resources. It set
or influenced many of the prices on which private
business calculations and investment decisions.
State intervention in the economy had a positive impact
only on private business profitability but also on the
welfare of the population. Beyond the jobs created in the
and public sectors, the government provided subsidized
education, and health and recreational services, as well
transportation. The government also managed the bulk of
retirement through the Central Provident Fund and Post
Savings Bank. It also decided annual wage increments and
minimum fringe benefits in the public and private sectors.
responsibility for workers' welfare won the government the
of the population, thus guaranteeing the political
encouraged private investment. In general, state
the economy managed to be probusiness without being
least regarding material welfare.
Budgeting and taxation were frequently used for
economic goals. In the postrecession period, budgetary
primarily benefited business. For example, the fiscal year
1988 budget included an overseas investment
program, administered by the Economic Development Board,
tax write-offs for losses from approved overseas
fig. 7). Other concessions such as suspension of taxes on
and a 50 percent rebate on property taxes were in effect
1985 and 1988 to counteract the economic slump.
Budgeting and taxation also were often used to achieve
reinforce social goals such as population control. Until
government encouraged limiting of families to two children
levying higher medical and education costs for additional
In 1986, however, tax rebates were introduced to encourage
collegeeducated women to have third and fourth children.
Data as of December 1989