Report on Public Sector Outcomes 2022: Growing Opportunities and Emerging Challenges for our Nation06 Dec 2022
Our nation’s resilience is reflected in how we have collectively adapted to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, help others in times of need, and emerge stronger from crisis.
The Ministry of Finance today published the seventh edition of the Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR). SPOR, a biennial report, provides insights into how Singapore has fared in key areas of national interest, ranging from health and wellness, environment, economy to security and diplomacy.
SPOR 2022 Key Themes
2. SPOR 2022 gives an overview on Singaporeans’ access to opportunities at every stage in life, how we are working towards quality and sustainable living, our efforts to safeguard our shared future and place in the world, and how we are sustaining a strong and resilient economy. This report is written from the perspectives of Singaporeans and businesses, and explains why each area is important to them, and how they have benefitted from the various policies and programmes. The report also features challenges where Singaporeans can partner one another, and the Government, to own, shape and act on our shared future together.
3. Head of Civil Service, Mr Leo Yip said, “The SPOR report highlights our progress in key national priorities. SPOR 2022 showcases the collective efforts of our nation and people in overcoming the challenges of the pandemic, and building a better Singapore together. We are positioning ourselves to seize new opportunities amid emerging challenges and growing needs. The Public Service will continue to work closely with and support Singaporeans on this journey.”
Opportunities for All, at Every Stage of Life
4. Progress has been made to equip Singaporeans throughout life. As at March 2022, over 60% of children were enrolled in government-supported preschools. We are on track to achieving the target of having government-supported preschool places for 80% of children by around 2025. Schools continue to work with parents and the community to help students develop holistically and shift away from an over-emphasis on academic results. In 2021, 97% of the Primary 1 cohort progressed to post-secondary education programmes. New pathways were introduced for polytechnic and ITE students. More working Singaporeans are taking up training to acquire new skills.
5. Employment rebounded in 2021 from the COVID-19-induced contraction in 2020. Unemployment rates improved but remained elevated in 2021, especially among residents aged 40 years and older. Retrenchments among residents fell substantially to 6,430 in 2021, after reaching an 11-year high of 14,380 in 2020.
6. Despite higher inflation, real median income grew in 2021 after a decline in 2020. Together with unions and employers, we have made good progress in uplifting lower-wage workers. From 2016 to 2021, the real income growth of 20th percentile earners was 2.7% per annum, which was faster than the 2.1% per annum growth for median earners.
7. Income inequality, based on the Gini coefficient, has been falling in the past decade, due in part to enhanced social policies and measures that support more individuals to be in employment. The Gini coefficient, before accounting for taxes and transfers, fell in 2021 due to stronger income recovery among lower-income groups.
8. Our public health measures have helped to keep Singapore’s COVID-19 death rate one of the lowest in the world. However, Singaporeans continue to face challenges to their physical health, with an increase in chronic diseases in 2021. Access to support for mental wellness has increased as Singaporeans faced additional stressors during the pandemic.
9. While the number of marriages saw a dip in 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions on weddings were in place, the subsequent easing of restrictions in 2021 saw a rebound in numbers. Families have access to affordable, quality education and programmes like the Families for Life movement to promote strong and resilient families. During the pandemic, a one-off Baby Support Grant of $3,000 was given to parents of more than 63,000 Singaporean children born from 1 October 2020 to 30 September 2022.
Quality and Sustainable Living
10. Singapore has maintained high liveability standards, with affordable and accessible housing, vibrant districts, and easy access to green spaces and nature. Satisfaction with public transport and the cleanliness of public spaces have remained high.
11. Singapore has raised our climate ambition to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. We have made good progress on our targets and initiatives. For example, as at 2021, more than three in four of all journeys during peak hours were completed by walking, cycling, and using public transport. Solar panels have been installed on top of more than 2,900 HDB blocks, equivalent to powering about 32,000 four-room flats with solar energy.
Our Shared Future and Place in the World
12. Singapore continues to enjoy peace and security, through the collective efforts of the citizenry, businesses, community, and the Government. Physical crimes declined in 2021, with housebreaking and theft falling to a 37-year low. However, the overall crime rate rose, driven by an increase in scam cases. Efforts are ongoing to fight scams, including anti-scam operations and the ScamShield mobile application.
13. Singaporeans continue to have high levels of confidence in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Home Team, and are stepping forward to contribute in many ways. There are over 16,000 volunteers in the SAF Volunteer Corps, Police Volunteer Special Constabulary, Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit and other Home Team volunteer schemes. The Government has continued to strengthen ties with our defence partners and enhance international cooperation, to maintain regional peace and stability and address transnational security challenges, including threats from terrorism and in cyberspace.
14. Singaporeans have been stepping up to share their ideas and aspirations with each other and with the Government, and to turn these into action. The Alliances for Action have brought together more than 140,600 individuals and 1,590 organisations to co-create and implement over 160 projects. The ongoing Forward Singapore exercise will allow Singaporeans to share their views on our social compact, and how we can work together to address new opportunities and emerging challenges for Singapore.
Strong and Resilient Economy
15. Singapore’s economy has emerged strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic severely disrupted global economic activity, with significant impact on businesses and livelihoods. In 2020, our economy shrank by 4.1%, its worst full-year recession since Singapore’s independence. Strong economic fundamentals and extensive connectivity to the world provided the ballast to ride out the storm. In 2021, our economy expanded by 7.6%.
16. Businesses and workers received support through an extensive range of schemes to help them weather the immediate impact of the pandemic and seize medium-to-longer-term opportunities in an endemic world. This included more than $28.1 billion disbursed to 180,000 employers under the Jobs Support Scheme over eight tranches from 2020 to 2022.
17. Many businesses have digitalised their activities to capitalise on the opportunities brought about by COVID-19. For example, the proportion of firms adopting digital technologies increased from 74% in 2018 to 91% in 2021. More than 60% of hawker stalls have adopted e-payments with assistance from Hawkers Go Digital as at September 2022.
Special chapter: Strengthening Our Supply Chain Resilience
18. Our efforts at strengthening Singapore’s reputation as a trusted and reliable partner, diversification of sources, and connectivity have enabled us to prepare for supply disruptions. Ongoing work including the stockpiling of essential supplies, anchoring production and research capabilities domestically, and building up our financial resources have helped us tide over the effects of temporary supply shocks. These strategies cannot entirely prevent disruptions and have to be supported by a resilient and united population.
19. SPOR 2022 can be accessed via go.gov.sg/SPOR or the QR code below, and its accompanying infographics are in the Annex:
Ministry of Finance
6 December 2022