Budget buzzwords in simple English

Not sure if you’ve heard, but it’s the Budget season! This is the first time Heng Swee Keat is giving the Budget as our new Finance Minister, and just like past years most Singaporeans don’t give a crap.


Unfortunately though, some of us have to face colleagues or friends who like to act as if they know current affairs. PAP this, SDP that. TPP here, Panama there.

So no choice – sometimes we have to engage these posers and act as though we know what they’re talking about.


But don’t worry! We’ve prepared a list of buzzwords you can use, to appear knowledgeable about this year’s Budget.

Near-term concerns

Immediate problems; usually used in business context. So things like rental costs, manpower shortage or cashflow problems.

For example, forgetting your best friend’s birthday is a near-term concern because he’ll probably be annoyed for one day. But forgetting your girlfriend’s/wife’s birthday is a long-term problem because she’ll bring it up. Every single time you argue, for the rest of your miserable life.


The ability or intelligence to make more with less. Somewhat like efficiency, but slightly different.

For example, some people can gain weight just by breathing in air. That’s called being productive. Others lose weight just by farting. That’s being efficient.

Trade Associations and Chambers

These are groups of (mostly) old men who seemingly gather for no other purpose than to eat catered food together. But instead of calling it “dinner”, they like to call such gatherings “annual general meetings”.


So they’re somewhat like the groups in Mean Girls, except hairier.

Subsidies/grants/vouchers/election goodies


Community networks

Help older Singaporeans stay active, be it physically or mentally. So like Facebook Groups, but for old people. And also in real life. Probably in void decks.


The thick skin to tahan difficulties, and to try and solve them.

So for example, when your girlfriend/wife remind you that you forgot her birthday x years ago, being resilient means you bow and apologise again. Despite the fact that you have already apologised for the past x years.


If the above cheat-sheet doesn’t help you impress your poser friends, you can always go with these tried and tested lines that can describe every single Budget in the past, present and future:

This year’s Budget is a prudent one.

On one hand, the Budget introduced many measures to help alleviate many short-term concerns that many Singaporeans have. On the other hand, the Budget will also help to navigate many long-term problems the economy may bring.


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