The Ministry of Finance has taken Singapore’s love affair with technology into account in its dissemination of this year’s Budget Statement, which is to be delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, on February 21 at 3.30pm in Parliament.
In addition to the usual live broadcast on television and on radio, the ministry said on February 11 that there will be live streaming of the speech on the Singapore Budget website, at broadcast channel channelnewsasia.com and via Toggle, an interactive content repository by MediaCorp.
An SG Budget 2014 mobile application, to be available on both the Apple and Android platforms after 18 February 2014, will provide an additional channel for live streaming of the Speech.
Updates to the speech will appear through the mobile app, at the Gov.sg home page, as well as at the Ministry’s Facebook page and through its Twitter account. The public is encouraged to use the hashtag #SGBudget on social media; in past years, real-time commentary from those watching the Budget speech live made #SGBudget one of the top Twitter trends of the day, and this year is not expected to be any different.
Singaporeans who prefer email are invited to subscribe to visit the Singapore Budget website and subscribe to the Budget Statement mailing list, after which they will receive the Budget Statement via email after it has been delivered. The free service will be available for subscription until 7.30pm on 20 February 2014.
Facebook is another way to provide feedback on Budget initiatives. In addition to a public forum on 26 February 2014, REACH, the Singapore government’s e-engagement platform, will be organising a Facebook Chat on the REACH Facebook Page on 2 March 2014.
According to the Infocomm Development Authority, 84% of Singapore households have access to broadband Internet as of 2012 (the most recent year for which information is available), and as of November 2013, Singapore residents paid for 8.39 million mobile subscriptions, of which about 1.88 million were 4G subscriptions, and a further 5.36 million 3G subscriptions. Given the 5.4 million population as of September 2013, this implies that people have more than one mobile subscription which allows Internet access.