Budget 2021 Highlights | 4 Must-Knows for Job Seekers

Updated: Sep 15

In his Emerging Stronger Together themed Budget 2021 address, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced a slew of enhanced job support measures to continue to strengthen the workforce in the wake of the global pandemic. As the economy is slowly but surely recovering from the recession, the focus of the 2021 budget seems largely centered on the sustainable creation of jobs. In other words, we’re paving the way towards economic recovery rather than rescue.

What does this mean for you? Here’s what you can look out for if you’re on the hunt for a job during this period.

It has been well over a year since nations worldwide were crippled by the global pandemic. Since then, developed and developing countries alike have been hit with subsequent waves of infections. While Singapore has been fortunate enough to contain the spread for now, we can see considerable damage done across most sectors of the economy, particularly aviation, tourism and entertainment (we’ve just bid a temporary farewell to the most beloved Teo Heng KTV franchise... )

Last year, our country experienced its worst recession since independence. Because of the pandemic-induced recession, the government has tapped into the country’s national reserves for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis. Not surprisingly, the most recent Budget 2021 address - themed Emerging Stronger Together - extended and enhanced the Job Growth Incentive and SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package to continue the support for the lacklustre job market.

Before we cover the 4 job support schemes that you should be well acquainted with, let’s dive a little deeper into what is a Budget, its process and the significance of this year’s Budget in response to COVID-19.

Explainer: What’s the Budget?

The Budget includes the revised revenue and expenditure projections for the current and following financial year. For the Budget every year, the government prioritises different short-term and long-term measures to support and boost the economy. In Singapore, each financial year (FY) begins on 1 April of the calendar year and ends on 31 March of the following calendar year.

The Budget process kicks off in November, where the Ministry of Finance initiates rounds of discussions with other ministries and agencies to identify national priorities. The findings and proposed plans are subsequently opened to public consultation gather a range of feedback and perspectives from different stakeholders.

This could look something like businesses, unions and individual households (stakeholders) putting forth their ideas over dialogue sessions, listening points and online channels (feedback avenues). The suggestions gathered contribute to the final design of the final Budget line-up, which has to go through approval by the Cabinet before presented to the Parliament by the Finance Minister.