Launch Of Budget 2008 Feedback Exercise And Youth Outreach Activities15 Oct 2007
1. As part of the Ministry of Finance's (MOF) preparations for Budget 2008, MOF will be launching the Budget 2008 Feedback Exercise, as well as the Budget 2008 Essay and Video Competitions on 15 October 2007. Through these activities, MOF hopes to gather the public's views on how the Budget can meet the needs and aspirations of Singaporeans.
2. Second Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam commented that: "We want to get a sense of views all around as we prepare for the next Budget. We have created more feedback channels, so that the public finds it convenient to contribute their suggestions and ideas and feel encouraged to do so. Another goal of this exercise is to give more voice to our youths, and increase their awareness of the issues involved in the Budget. We are holding for the second year running our Essay Competition, which attracted many high-quality entries for Budget 2007. We are also launching our first-ever Video Competition for those who prefer to express their creativity in a different medium."
Giving the public a say - Feedback Exercise
3. MOF is partnering with REACH to gather the public's feedback. From 15 October 2007, members of the public can contribute their views on the Budget through the online feedback portal at MOF's Budget 2008 website. They can provide general feedback or offer more targeted suggestions on a range of topics such as social spending priorities and tax issues.
4. For added convenience, the public can also send in their feedback through REACH's SMS channel - 9-Speak-Up (9-77325-87) in English, Malay, or Chinese text (normal SMS charges apply). The SMS channel will commence operation from 22 October 2007.
5. The various channels for feedback are listed in Annex A. The public can choose to submit their feedback in any of the four official languages. The Feedback Exercise will run to 1 February 2008, but we encourage the public to send in their views early.
6. Dialogue sessions with the community will also be conducted from November 2007 to January 2008. Details of these sessions will be posted on the REACH website (www.reach.gov.sg) shortly.
Connecting with youths - Essay and Video Competitions
7. To foster critical thinking and creative expression on public finance issues amongst Singapore youths, MOF is launching two competitions inviting short essays and video clips on students' impressions of the Budget.
8. The topic for the essay competition is "Infinite Possibilities; Finite Resources", challenging students to place themselves in the shoes of the Finance Minister in deliberating the myriad financing priorities given limited revenue and resources. Where the essay competition celebrates policy ideas and analysis, those who prefer to express their creativity through a visual medium can participate in the video competition, which has a wide-ranging topic of "What the Budget means to me". The two competitions will be held in tandem and students can choose to join one or both competitions.The winning entries will receive cash prizes totaling $9500 and stand to be publicly featured by MOF.
9. Details on the Budget 2008 Feedback Exercise and the Essay and Video Competitions can be found on the Budget 2008 website (www.singaporebudget.gov.sg) from 15 October 2007.MINISTRY OF FINANCE