Addendum to the President’s Address at the Opening of the Second Session of the 14th Parliament
PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE (STRATEGY GROUP)
ADDENDUM TO THE PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS
MR LAWRENCE WONG
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER AND MINISTER-IN-CHARGE OF STRATEGY GROUP
The Strategy Group will continue to lead the Public Service to develop and implement strategic priorities, tackle long-term national challenges, and build a better Singapore for all.
Our Future Singapore – Refreshing Our Social Compact and Beyond
We see fraying social compacts in many countries around the world, where people feel excluded from their nation’s progress, and cannot find a common way forward on important national issues. This is why we are embarking on the Forward Singapore exercise – to bring Singaporeans together to examine our shared values and responsibilities towards one another, and to refresh our social compact. During our engagements, many shared their desire to build a fairer, more inclusive, and more caring society. The Strategy Group will work with Government agencies to refresh our strategies and develop new policy responses, so that Singaporeans will have opportunities to progress throughout life, stronger assurances to tide over difficult times, and a renewed sense of solidarity for the future.
Beyond Forward Singapore, the Strategy Group will continue to strengthen Whole-of-Government planning and execution to effectively tackle increasingly complex and cross-cutting challenges. These include a fragmented global order amid rising geopolitical tensions, new challenges brought about by technology, and the ongoing need to help Singaporeans cope with greater disruption and change.
In response to this rapidly changing environment, the Strategy Group will review and refresh Singapore’s medium- to long-term national priorities, and work with Government agencies to strengthen the resilience of our economy, society, and nation.
Amidst growing resource constraints, we will also support agencies by centrally developing capabilities and co-ordinating structures across the Public Service. We will organise cross-agency work on policy development and implementation, to better manage trade-offs, and achieve our desired outcomes across both economic and social domains.
Our Population – Strengthening Assurance for Singaporeans Throughout Life
Like other advanced economies, Singapore faces a declining total fertility rate and an ageing population. Our local workforce growth will continue to slow. Caregiving needs will intensify as family sizes shrink and more Singaporeans face dual pressures of raising young children while caring for their elderly parents. Our society is also becoming more diverse, and our multi-cultural identify will continue to evolve.
We will update our population strategies to tackle these challenges. First, we will do more to harness longevity as a strength, so that individuals can reap the benefits of longer and healthier lives. Second, the Government will continue to carefully manage our foreign worker and immigration flows, to ensure that these translate to tangible benefits for Singaporeans, and to help newcomers integrate better into our society. Third, we will strengthen efforts to build a society where families matter and are well supported.
We will do more to support the marriage and parenthood aspirations of Singaporeans. The Government has announced a package of pro-family measures at Budget 2023. The Strategy Group will continue to review and update our policies, including ways to extend more help to parents caring for their infants, and to those seeking to better manage their work and family commitments.
Beyond Government measures, the whole of society has to come together to develop an environment that supports families and values family well-being. The Government will continue to work with the community, employers, and other stakeholders to build a Singapore Made For Families.
Our Response to Climate Change – A Resilient and Sustainable Singapore
Amid rising urgency to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, we will push ahead with efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change. All stakeholders must work together as we transition to a more resilient and sustainable society.
Last year, Singapore raised our national climate target – to reduce our emissions to around 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030, after peaking our emissions earlier, and to get to net-zero emissions by 2050. To achieve these targets, the Government plans to raise the carbon tax to a range of $50 to $80 per tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2030.
We will diversify our energy mix with greener alternatives, such as hydrogen and regional renewable energy. We will work with industry and other stakeholders to research, develop, and deploy low-carbon climate technologies such as Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage. We will build a pipeline of high-quality carbon credit projects to help meet our climate goals. We will also support Singapore’s industries to embrace green opportunities and develop a workforce ready for the green economy of the future.
At the same time, we must be prepared for the worst. The Strategy Group is concurrently working with Government agencies to prepare Singapore for the effects of global warming, such as rising sea levels and temperatures, and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events.
The Government will also continue to participate actively at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and other international platforms to help shape the global climate regime, build partnerships, and share expertise and climate solutions with the international community.
Building a Better Singapore for All
The Government’s ability to think ahead and plan for the long term is key in ensuring Singapore’s continued survival and success. We will continue to strengthen forward planning capabilities across the Government. We will work with Singaporeans to achieve a better Singapore that will endure and thrive for generations to come.