The Singaporean budget this year will be focused on building the nation’s future, announced Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in his Budget Statement to Parliament on February 23.

Accordingly, the budget of Singapore will include measures to empower its nationals to learn and develop throughout their lives as well as to strengthen their retirement funds.

Spending on continuing education and training in Singapore will increase from about 600 million SGD per year over the last five years to an average of over 1 billion SGD per year through 2020.

This comes amid a development effort known as SkillsFuture which will put forth a lifelong SkillsFuture credit.

From 2016, all Singaporeans aged 25 and above will get a SkillsFuture Credit of 500 SGD each. The credits, which won't expire, can only be used for education and training.

The government will also raise the Central Provident Fund (CPF) salary ceiling from 5,000 SGD to 6,000 SGD to help working Singaporeans, especially the middle-class, save for their retirement.

The investment in infrastructure development will grow to about 30 billion SGD by the end of this decade, 50 percent higher than the amount to be spent in 2015.

The Budget Statement also unveiled a smaller-than-estimated budget deficit of 130 million SGD for the 2014 fiscal year, well below the projected 1.2 billion SGD amount, which was said to account for 0.3 percent of the country’s GDP.

In the 2013 fiscal year, Singapore estimated a budget surplus of 3.9 billion SGD.-VNA