As widely expected, Budget 2021 presented yesterday by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat pivots from providing broad-based emergency support to more targeted forms of assistance, from job retention to job creation, from counter-cyclical fiscal policy in the face of a sharp gross domestic product (GDP) contraction to measures to equip companies and workers to survive and thrive in the emerging post-pandemic economy.

As is usual with Mr Heng’s Budgets, the measures are wide-ranging, with a lot to unpack: There is support for businesses, workers and families; allocations for public health and safe reopening measures; incentives for job creation and innovation; charitable giving and volunteerism; support for a variety of green initiatives; extra offsets for the goods and services tax; help for communities; a new framework for government borrowing for infrastructure, and more.

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