What to expect at National Day Rally 2023: A Singaporean Guide

By Beansprout • 19 Aug 2023 • 0 min read

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver his National Day Rally (NDR) 2023 speech on Sunday, 20 August 2023.

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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver his National Day Rally 2023 speech on Sunday, 20 August 2023.

The National Day Rally (NDR) is often regarded as the most important political speech of the year, when the Prime Minister addresses the nation and shares important government policies. 

national day rally 2023

Prime Minister Lee will speak in Malay, Mandarin and English at the following times:

  • 6.45 pm – Malay
  • 7.00 pm – Mandarin
  • 8.00 pm – English

Ahead of the National Day Rally 2023, we look at some of the topics that might be discussed this Sunday, including making public housing affordable, helping seniors in their golden years, and measures to combat inflation. 

What to expect at National Day Rally 2023

#1 – Making public housing affordable

In his National Day message on Aug 8, Prime Minister Lee said he would share how the Government will adjust public housing schemes at the National Day Rally  

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has been building flats in both mature and non-mature estates.

Flats in older estates tend to have more established facilities and are located in better locations. The higher demand for such flats in mature estates makes them more expensive. 

On the other hand, homes in newer estates might not have so comprehensive facilities or be as centrally located, so they are cheaper.

However, as the government continues to develop more public housing, there will be fewer undeveloped sites left for such non-mature estates. 

Hence, there will be more new HDB flats will be built in existing estates in the future. Such flats will naturally be in greater demand, which might push up their launch prices and resale prices. 

In the second quarter of 2023, HDB resale prices rose by 1.5% compared to the previous year, even as total resale transactions fell to the lowest level in three years. 

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Source: HDB

 

As such, the government is analysing how to adjust HDB’s housing schemes to ensure that public housing remains accessible and affordable for Singaporeans of all income groups. 

Prime Minister Lee will be sharing some of these ideas at the National Day Rally 2023.

According to property analysts, a higher income ceiling may be on the cards. After all, the income ceiling for Build-to-Order (BTO) flats and executive condos (ECs) were last reviewed in 2019. 

Also, there might be greater subsidies for new HDB flat buyers, with tweaks made to the qualifying criteria and amount disbursed. 

#2 – Helping seniors in their golden years

Another key area will be to ensure older workers have enough Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings for their retirement.

While the government has progressively enhanced the CPF system over the years and provided targeted assistance to lower-income workers, some older workers in their 50s and 60s still have not built up enough CPF savings for retirement.

Prime Minister Lee is expected to talk about how extra help will be given to this group at the National Day Rally 2023.

To enhance the retirement adequacy of senior workers, it was recommended earlier that CPF contribution rates for senior workers aged 55 to 70 years be raised gradually to help senior workers save more for retirement. 

Following the recommendations, the CPF contribution rates for senior workers were raised in January 2022 and January 2023.

The senior worker contribution rates will be raised further in 2024, with a long-term target to have the full increase rolled out by 2030. 

The changes to the CPF contribution rates for senior workers from 1 January 2024 are shown below. 

image.png
Source: CPF

 

#3 – Measures to combat inflation

Last but not least, inflation has been at the back of the minds of many Singaporeans. 

This is despite the recent easing of inflation, with the headline inflation falling to a 16-month low of 4.5% in June 2023 from a peak of 7.5% in September 2022. 

 

This has led the MAS to lower its forecast of headline inflation in 2023 to 4.5% to 5.5%, from 5.5% to 6.5% earlier.  

That said, inflation is still at a higher level compared to what many Singaporeans might be used to.

In Budget 2023, we already saw that the Assurance Package was enhanced to S$9.6 billion from S$6.6 billion announced at Budget 2022 to help cushion the impact of the GST hike.

This has been distributed through cash payments for all adult Singaporeans, additional cash for lower-income seniors, additional GST Voucher – U-Save, MediSave top-ups for children and seniors, and Community Development Council (CDC) Vouchers for Singaporean households.

We’d be looking out for whether there might be more support measures to help Singaporeans cope for inflation. 

For a primer on inflation and how it has evolved, check out MAS’ guide here. 

Where to watch National Day Rally 2023

The National Day Rally will be broadcast on local TV channels and radio stations.

The Rally will also be live streamed on the following online channels:

If you miss the live broadcast of PM Lee’s speech, you may watch it at www.youtube.com/pmosingapore or www.pmo.gov.sg/ndr from 21 August 2023.

Alternatively, follow Beansprout's Telegram group or Facebook page to get the latest insights. 

Image source: Prime Minister's Office Singapore

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