SINGAPORE : The Singapore Government could spend an additional S$13 billion or 2.3 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP) to fund public services by 2025.
Total expenditure on such services is expected to hit S$72 billion by that time — accounting for 12 per cent of its GDP.
A report by consulting firm Accenture said the rise in spending is associated with an ageing population.
The population aged 65 years or older is projected to increase by almost 2.5 times between 2010 and 2025.
The elderly in that age group will account for 17 per cent of the total population by 2025, compared to just 8 per cent in 2010.
Singaporeans also have one of the highest life expectancies in the world.
Government spending on healthcare has already increased from S$2.7 billion in 2008 to S$4.1 billion in 2011.
To close the expenditure gap, Accenture said Singapore’s public sector efficiency would need to increase by 1.4 per cent annually through 2025.
"In face of the challenges posed by the ageing population and rising expectation for public services, improving public sector productivity is imperative to drive and sustain Singapore’s economic growth. With the study, we aim to help lay the groundwork for this journey of historic demographic change, especially in Singapore," said Teo Lay Lim, managing director of Accenture Singapore and ASEAN.
The study covered 10 countries, including Australia, Brazil. France and the UK.
Separately, Accenture also surveyed citizens on their satisfaction with public services.
The poll of 5,000 people, conducted across the same 10 countries, showed that 56 per cent of Singapore respondents are satisfied with the services they receive.
It is the highest satisfaction rate of the 10 countries surveyed.
Singaporeans were the most confident (70 per cent) of all the survey’s respondents that the government will be able to deliver public services that meet people’s needs and expectations over the next five years.
When asked what they considered most important for the government to focus on to improve public services in the future, Singapore respondents ranked most highly "understand better the priorities of citizens and communities" (64 per cent), and "make sure services are more tailored to the needs of people using them" (38 per cent).
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