Let’s ask…how does the Committee of Supply work?

Singapore-parliament

The Committee of Supply (COS) debate is set to end today. Over the past week or so, Parliament has been reviewing and approving each Ministry’s expenditure estimates. But how does it work? And what’s next?

Here are 5 things to help you get in the know:

SpeakerofParliament1.) The Speaker of Parliament assumes the role of Chairman of the Committee. During the debates, the Speaker or Deputy Speaker will move down from the Speaker’s chair to sit in the chairman’s seat for the duration of the debate.

2.) After the debates end, Parliament approves the Budget and the Supply Bill is passed. The law controls the amount of money, issued from the Consolidated and Development Funds that the Government may spend in the coming financial year.

3.) The Supply Bill also stipulates the purposes for which the money may be spent. If more money is needed in a financial year, the Government must get Parliament’s approval through the passing of one or more Supplementary Supply Bills or a Final Supply Bill.

PresTonytan

4.) The President’s assent is sought for enactment of the Supply Bill. The President’s role is to safeguard the past reserves of the nation, and may withhold his assent if, in his opinion, the estimated expenditure is likely to draw on past reserves.

5.) Once the President gives the assent to the Supply Bill, it is enacted as law. Known as the Supply Act, it controls the Government’s spending in the following financial year, which begins 1 April of every financial year.

Feel like you know everything about the Budget process of Parliament after reading the article?

To recap, a total of 466 ‘cuts’ were filed this year by Members of Parliament, including 53 for the Ministry of Manpower.

This year’s Budget saw a slew of new initiatives to help Singaporean prepare better for their retirement and job and skills enhancement for workers through the SkillsFuture initiatives.

 

 

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Arthur Lee

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