Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shock GST Hike to 7% will affect poor most

GST to be raised to 7%: PM Lee

By Farah Abdul Rahim, Channel NewsAsia Posted: 13 November 2006 1832 hrs

SINGAPORE: The Goods and Services Tax will be increased to 7 percent from 5 percent presently. This was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in Parliament on Monday.

However, when the rise will be implemented, will be decided later.

Speaking in Malay, Mandarin and English, Mr Lee explained that the hike was necessary to finance the enhanced social safety nets, needed to help the lower income group and he emphasised that the offset package would more than counter the rise in GST. (read on)

GST hike will be felt by businesses that absorb GST: KPMG

By Rita Zahara, Channel NewsAsia Posted: 13 November 2006 2140 hrs (read on)

My comments:

Hi Friends,

Just when we thought that we can breathe a little easier, PM gives us a rude shocker.

We are told that the economy has turned the corner and that Singapore has even increased the number of millionaires on its shores (although a significant proportion are from Indonesia). MM Lee also proclaimed recently that he is very optimistic for Singapore in the next few years.

The Integrated Resorts has become the single factor that almost the whole of Singapore has identified as its engine of economic growth. I have not forgotten about digital media, water services and biomedical.

But let's be brutally honest, these other engines are mere sideshows compared to the Casinoes ( just calling a spade a spade). Hence, the Sentosa properties (notwithstanding leasehold status) sell like hot cakes and the previously stuttering property market got a welcome boost.

The stock market has also enjoyed a grand run recently and I am sure the housewives and the taxi-drivers will be lining up for IPO’s again.

Did I forget to mention that the leasehold Metropolitan condominium near Redhill MRT sold out during its soft launch? Or that high society’s “who’s who” are already trying to get invitations to Capitaland’s soft launch for the Orchard Turn project? So the HDB property market will be the next to move up?

The government has mastered this very useful skill. Get the good numbers out; MSM starts to churn out the good news; lull us into feeling warm and fuzzy; then give us a good surprise!

Ha ha, Works every time!

The worst off from this GST hike will (again) be the poor. This additional 2 % will affect them more than the rich. As mentioned by KPMG, more merchants will voluntarily register for GST and hence there will be less retailers/merchants who will absorb this tax. The middle-class will also want to claim that they will once again be forgotten by everyone except their creditors.

Granted that GST is an indirect tax that punishes only those who consume, but we don't need reminding that even the poorest or the most frugal still need to eat and use mundane household items.

The only ones to gain is (again) the government. Sigh!

There is no doubt that a balanced budget is important for continued economic growth. Didn’t I just read somewhere that the Inland Revenue people are having record collections from tax-payers? Be honest, have our low COE prices ironically done us in?

I am sure conspiracy theorists will be out in droves to (again) make their point that our reserves are not as vast and as secure as have been presumed, what with Shin Corp becoming a part ( now no doubt a long-term holding) of Temasek’s portfolio etc ( you get my drift?).

I think it is about time to consider exempting GST from stable foods and essential services (including medical service- ok, I declare my pecuniary interest here).

Nah! The government leaders have already made up their minds and this is just some futile ranting of another helpless and hopeless Singaporean.

Dr.Huang Shoou Chyuan

PS: Or maybe there will be income tax cuts? ( sorry but I am an incorrigible optimist!)

Links to other blogs about GST Hike:
1. Gecko The comments are very informative


40+ Singaporean said...

You are right. The government have indeed made up its mind about the tax increase but that should not stop us from voicing our opinions and criticism.

In this morning's Today papers, Lee Bee Wah, MP for AMK GRC is quoted as saying, "The GST hike is expected...". Really? Who's expecting it except the PAP MPs? Hri Kumar, MP fro Bishan-TP GRC said, "The GST can't stay at 5 per cent forever....". I knew it the day GST was introduced. That was the day we started on a slippery slope (to borrow a favoured PAP term when it comes to welfare). Unfortunately for us, the slope slides upwards. It is so easy for government to increase taxes and this won't be the last.

In the UK, VAT was around 5% in the 80s. By the late 90s, it was 17% (if I recall correctly). The absolute number is not the point, it is a fact that it will always rise and there is effectively no cap. Our government is supposedly more efficient and we don't believe in the European style welfare but we sure are following in European style taxation.

According to PM Lee, this is a good time to introduce the increase, because times are good! There is a chorus of agreement from the PAP MPs (funny, I am not surprise by it) Is time really good for all? What about those supposedly middle class who cannot find employment because they are in the forties? Does it mean that the government really don't need the additional taxes but it is just a good time to increase taxes because they will get less complaints? Does it mean that if the economy deteriorates in future, GST will be cut? How about giving us that assurance, Mr PM?

GST was a broad base consumption tax that is supposed to be equitable and will tax the bigger consumers more (meaning mostly the rich), hence 'fair'. This was one of the argument when GST was introduced. The government now recognise that GST hike will affect the poor and will have a package to help the needy with this confirmed (not proposed and subjected to debate) GST increase. WP Low Thia Khiang asked the question, "What happens after at the end of the term of the offset package?" The respones was to wait for the details of the offset package, after calling welfare a dirty word and describing WP's suggested welfare a even dirtier word. In this regard, I urge the government to consider Dr H's suggestion to waive GST for certain necessities. If we can create a scheme to offset GST for certain segments of the population, why can't we exempt certain goods and servces from GST or GST hikes? His question relating to the impact on the middle income was not answered. (For the record, I am not in any way associated with WP or Low TK but if I will in his ward, I will vote for him. At least we have a voice questioning why, rather than a sea of orchestrated support from the PAP MPs, which I am sure is prepared and scripted. What kind of debate is this, if it was all agreed before hand and individuals chime in on cue?)

One of the main reason for this GST hike is to finance the poor, according to the broadcast last night. So, the government is now raising taxes to use it to help the not so well off amoung us, after urging Singaporeans to volunteer and help the less fortunate less than a week ago. So, in addition to taking money from our pocket to help fellow Singaporeans because the government do not believe in developing the crutch mentality, we have to be taxed more in order that the government can form more committees to figure out how to support VWOs without the state having to directly hand out money to the poor and needy.

I couldn't help but think of Robin Hood when I was viewing the broadcast on TV last night. Our government is almost like Robin Hood, only it is not just robbing from the rich and evil, it is taxing everyone, poor and rich, in order to provide for the poor? I leave you to ponder that.

quitter-in-waiting said...

Hi Dr H: I posted the same comments below on Mr Wang's site. Hope u don't mind that I repeat.

I grew up in a Singapore ran by 1st generation PAP politicians, some of whom really understood the meaning of "serving the people" and it shows in their actions. E.g. Ong Teng Cheong.

The subsequent generation of PAP politicians are a disappointing lot. Says a lot about Singapore's system of selecting scholars to "serve"... good academic brains do not equate good public servants (yes, even MPs are public servants).

Heck, these days these self-serving "servants" are so assured of their continued hold on power that they do not even bother to window-dress their regressive policies. E.g. GST is a regressive tax, this is an economic fact.

Just glad that I'm exiting eventually.

Rowen said...

Dear Dr.

Apparently, our prime minister states that he thinks that singaporean will support his increase in taxes.

However, unlike in previous times, he did not spend additional money to request for a committee to look into the whether there is any popular support for the increase in taxes.

Moreover, he did not go into detail of how much the school fees, (education), Healthcare fees and other amenities will be improved.

In my opinion, the consumers ( which are mostly singaporeans) will be greatly hit by this increase in taxes. For every S$100.00 we are spending, we will be paying S$7.00 to the government.

In 2 years we increase 2% taxes. In 10 years 10%?

I believe that in the next election there will less than 66% mandate.

Anonymous said...

Dear 40+ Singaporean,

I share your sentiments.

Robbing (taxing) the poor to help the poor?

The MIW does not have poor and elderly Singaporeans at heart, they are interested in Singapore Inc, the rich business interests, the high net worth whales for our casinos and to please get out of our uncaring elite faces because they only care that the economy is purring along smoothly to line their ministerial salaries and to continue to generate budget surpluses for Temasek to squander on international investment (bets) in the region and beyond.

Majullah Singapura

Dr Oz bloke said...

If I remember correctly ( I watched the telecast of PM Lee's speech last night), the increase in GST is to accomodate the planned reduction in corporate taxes.

The reduction in corporate taxes is to get Singapore attractive again cos Hong Kong has lower tax rates than Singapore.

Actually TODAY reported that PM Lee rebutted Low TK's comments by saying "The higher income should end up paying more. That is part of being one society. I think that is fair and Singaporeans will support it"

Either I don't understand or PM Lee doesn't understand how the GST works.

By increasing GST, the higher income pay more? But then you reduce tax rates (obviously tax cuts benefit the rich). So on the balance do the higher income pay more or less?

If they pay more then how does this fit into the plan to reduce tax rates to make Singapore attractive despite the higher income having to pay more? Or he thinks the higher income people are stupid?

I dunno man. Lots of conflicting statements all over.

I wrote an entry in my blog about this too.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi all,
Keep the comments coming.
The sentiment I get from a casual survey in my doctors' tearoom was decidedly negative.
"Robbing the poor to pay the rich" was the general consensus as the poor are taxed ( proportionately ) more and the rich benefit from decreased corporate/income tax.
I will comment more time willing!

Another very worrying trend ( which was glossed over by MSM) is that capital gains will now be raided by the govt for their use. Are they so desperate? Previously, the income from interest/dividends of these investments were deemed sufficient but why not NOW?
Any closet economist want to comment?


Dr Oz bloke said...

Actually, if you are not poor you can't be bothered because all this benefits you. I mean if my income tax goes down I'll be much happier! I do not splurge on luxury items regularly.

I do very simple stuff. So the 2% increase might not impact me very much, while tax cuts may actually save me money overall!

However if you are a poor person struggling to get by day to day, pay for the electric bill, water bill, all the costs will go up by 2%! Your salary going up by 2% or not? No? better pray for help!

Sadly the poor are still a minority and thus have no voice. At the elections they also probably don't form the majority vote either.

BW said...

"capital gains will now be raided by the govt for their use. Are they so desperate? Previously, the income from interest/ dividends of these investments were deemed sufficient but why not NOW?"

Actually, this is a fair treatment of utilising our reserves. It should be based on total returns. So that's not the problem as I see it.

(But how do we talk of returns when we don't even know the principal? We have such an opaque system, I'm happy we use as much as we can, at least that's realisable - the rest may just as well exist in LaLa land :) I see this as a small 'victory' on the part of those clamouring for better use of our reserves.)

If the PM really wanted to redistribute, he could have just raised the income tax & left the gst alone. Recall that 2/3s of Sporeans don't pay income tax, & also, 2/3s of the income tax collected is from just the top 5% of households (now that is another perspective of the income gap).

So the PM could have just raised the income tax of the top 5% to pay for whatever strengthening of the social net he is contemplating. I'm not sure if its a one-for-one, but I think perhaps a 3%-point increase for the top-tier tax rate instead of a 2%-point increase in the gst would suffice.

Actually my guess is all this increases in taxes are not really necessary once you have access to total returns from our reserves. Erhm, assuming they perform as well as they claim :) So I'm suspicious as to the need to raise gst so soon.

Still, leaving that aside, why did he chose to raise the gst instead of the income tax? He would have upset 5% of the population instead of 95%.

I can only speculate that it's because of ideology - the fabled 'trickle-down' economic effect.

Since the PM professes to be a practical man, he should only look back at the past 40 years when we probably achieved the fastest growth rate in economic history.

For all that growth, we still have a large portion of the population struggling with subsistence living. Why repeat an old strategy with known results?

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not thrashing growth. It's important. But surely we should be more ambitious in our aims than to just achieve high growth without some resemblance of economic fairness?

nofearSingapore said...

Hi BW,
I agree about the opacity of institutions like GIC, Temasek and about the amount and nature of our reserves.
I am skeptical that laying our hands on the capital gains from our national investments' cap gain is positive.
Yes the wealth gap is humongous and not narrowing anytime soon.
There is no need to linger on this but there is indeed an underclass in S'pore that is unable to fit into our new economy. It is a real problem. It is sad, but they feel that there are strangers in their own land! Just talk to them and you immediately sense their despondency. We cannot ignore this. It may become a time bomb waiting for a lighted match!

Anonymous said...

Boooom. What boom. A light fart is more likely. If this had come before the Chee Soon Juan / IMF fiasco, would there be a better BOOOM at the Speakers corner? I wonder. Again gathering of 5 or more is illegal so I don;t see how the boom will come about? Unless you are talking about a mass suicide of 10 people in the MRT tracks. (Really what else can we do? And GRC walkovers, what else ?)

KiWeTO said...

The City/Country Divide
This underclass that you mentioned, in all other countries, will decide that they can better eke a living out in the countryside. So, the best and brightest come to the city, and those who do not wish to compete will return to a slower pace of life in the countryside.

Unfortunately, being only 46km across, there isn't much of a countryside to return to. "CITY-STATE", they like to call themselves. We ain't got no country-bumpkins here.

Thus, this 'underclass' is left with nowhere to turn to, nowhere to eke a living, competing with foreign imports who are willing to do the same work for 1/3 the price because that is sitll a lot of money once they return to their foreign lands.

So where shall we send these underachievers who have chosen not to fight in the hustle of a city? Some retirement village in Johore?

Or are we one people, who will work together, to take care of each other, because this is OUR society, and we should have a choice who we want to accept into our society?

Sadly, all i can see is more instances of the former, than instances of the latter. City folks are just city folks. The 'laws' of the concrete jungle will just continue to exist. Those who can will screw those who cannot, and those in the middle just become collateral damage.

[anyone even wonders what a 1/4 non-citizen population's effects on a country's economy are? wait, we're not a country, we're just a city.]

sapmme said...

Hi all,

If it isn't apparent to all now. A GST is a well known regressive tax.

Look it up on Wiki

A regressive tax is one that taxes the poor more than the rich as the what appears to be a meagre 2% increase in expenses means alot more to the very poor who spends like 40-60% on their income on utilities.

Using a regressive tax to offset the loss of income from reducing coporate tax mean STEALING FROM THE POOR TO GIVE TO THE RICH!

Gentlemen, who we have here is no robin hood... more like sauron the dark lord who speaks of compassion while fractically stabbing the poors under the table.

40+ Singaporean said...

Dr H, I actually think utilising capital gain or parts of it is one of the very few positives out of the speech. In fact, it may be the only positive.

Just like a company which has assets which have been in the books at grossly undervalued prices, a revaluation is necessary to correctly reflect the actual worth and financial status. This may not be the best analogy, but oh well.

In this instance, the capital gain from previous investments should be released for usage, such as provision of welfare to the underprivilege citizens. Sometimes investments are made for an income stream, other times for potential capital gains. In either case, when gains are made, it is profit, so why should capital gains be treated different from other forms of profits.

One of the points raised by many is that Singapore's reserve is not insignificant and there is a standing 'defence' by the government of not touching the reserves, even if it is for the right reasons, then what is the build up of reserves for? So, in this regard, I am happy that he is proposing to release some of the capital gains from prior investments.

Anonymous said...

I agree that using the principal portion of the reserves is a slippery slope to bankruptcy. Kalwanjit Soin (?) did mention that part of the gains from the reserves could fund a pension for the aged - post 65's - in recognition for their contribution to nation building. I agree it is good to use that for the old / aged as it truly belongs to them too. Build up a reserves, my question is how much, for how long, and to what purpose? If it is not used for the citizens, but for Ho Ching and Friends to punt in the regional market, heh - i'd rather they release back to my 80 year old mom.

YCK said...

Hi Dr H,

I did not see that coming either given my short-sightness by virtue of not being from the upper crust.

I would like bring to your attention Aaron Ng's did a wonderful exposition of why the rich should be least affected. In fact he suggested that the tax is regressive! Sounds like a dirty word that ranks up there with welfarism and minimum wage to me.

Now I cannot wait to hear about the "enhanced social safety nets".

YCK said...

Pardon my typos. I meant "I would like bring to your attention Aaron Ng's wonderful exposition of why the rich should be least affected."

singaporepatriot said...

Hi Doc,

Sigh...it seems our dear govt didn't even bother to consult the private sector before making this "bold" decision. Look at S'pore Chinese Chamber of Commerce's statement yesterday. Typical of them.

Anyway, I've written my first of a series of 3 article s on the impending GST hike.

Let's all keep up the pressure. Maybe they will back down on this bad decision.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi all,

We all generally agree that tax collection is necessary in order to carry out any govt's fiscal policies. The challenge is what is the most equitable way so that poor are not disadvantaged. I have read Andy Mukherjee's opinion and I think it is balanced.

I just feel sorry for the poor. They are dependent on hand-outs from the govt and so many fall thru social net cracks as they don't qualify for these.

The rich of the world and international capital will flow towards countries with low tax regimes ( hence corporate tax rates are dropping), and they shift their OHQ's from London to HK to Timbuctoo if they want, but our McDonald uncle only shift from corner provision shop to NTUC and still cannot make ends meet. The corner provision shop is also getting squeezed now, as unless they register GST or mark-up price ( and lose to Cheers or 7-11), they either absorb or close shop!
I just hope the help package is really what it promises to be.


Rowen said...

Dear Dr H,

You are rite about that.

Those sole proprietorship companies, which are not under the GST scheme because they are too low on income or size, will suffer the most.

Firstly they need to pay the additional cost of the GST from the suppliers which tend to be bigger and also GST registered.

Secondly, Since they are unable to charge GST, they will not be able to receive any rebates on the GST taxes they pay.

Thirdly, they cannot charge their customers GST.

Hence, they lose 2% of their cost prices for goods and services even prior to sales.

gecko said...

The difference between the rich and the poor is their propensity and ability to seek the (avenues of) handouts.

The poor are simply physically, intellectually, emotional and spiritually incapable of seeking the help from so many avenues available. Like Redbean of MySingaporeNews.blogspot.com said, you can have so many schemes - 46 - but if the poor are living from hand to mouth everyday and tired from struggling to make a living - where do they have the energy and time to sift through so many forms and produce the documents necessary to submit their applications?

This is what the PAP will never understand because they have never needed to do that.

Robert HO said...


Just because my blog has been viewed 312 times in the last fortnight or so, LKY got his ISD agents living and operating in the flat above mine to vandalise my fridge spoiling all the food in the freezer, about $100 worth or so. By now, my aircon, electric typewriter, fax machine, computer hard drives, DVD players, etc, etc, have been vandalised costing me more than $2,000 in repairs/replacements.

These vandalism attacks are not new and have been ongoing for 15 years. I have long documented these in soc.culture.singapore. To know more, if you are interested, do a search there using the search term... RH: LKY crimes... Or visit my blog above, which details proofs that LKY rigged the Cheng San GRC election in 1997. I have 2 eyewitnesses to this sordid deed. That is why Cheng San disappeared from the electoral map after 1997. LKY lost there and could not afford to contest it ever again.

Robert HO

Anonymous said...

Now, the rich pays 20%inc-tax + 5%GST = 25%.
And the poor pays only 5%. Difference 20%.
Next increase GST to 7% and reduce income tax to 17% so rich pays total of 24% then. Rich happy.
And the poor pays only 7% so closer to rich now. Gap of 20% now reduced to 17% then. Narrowing the tax gap will boost morale of the poor since he can proudly claim he pays tax too. In a few years more, GST should be raised to 15% and inc-tax cut to token 5%.
Then the literate poor cannot complain about widening income gap. GST is an equilizer.
What happen to the illiterate poor who knows not what is going on? Well, govt would give them a card to signify they are officially poor. With this card, they get special discount of 20% at all govt registered shops and vendors of fine jewelleries and luxurious goods. At all approved supermarkets, like Fairprice, there is a storewide discount of 15% for all non-essential goods like shampoo and light bulbs. For essentials like rice, salt and sugar, there is the standard 5% which ntuc gives to its member at year end.
With such a card, most govt department will give a special discount of 25% off service charge. For example, the fee for a new passport will be $60 to the Certified Poor Card-holder and every member of his family.
Oh why encourage the poor to have passport? Simple reason is they can take a bus to JB to spend their little money there. Of course, they should be advised to change S$ to ringgit.

gecko said...


My name has been used by Robert Ho to post a comment above. Can you please edit/remove the comment? Thanks.

nofearSingapore said...

Hi gecko,
actually he used his own name.
Your name was for your comment which is above his comment.
But in any case, his comment is rather irrelevant for this post.
But he would post another if I delete it. So I just let it remain.


gecko said...

Hi Dr.H,

Sorry. Must have been a slip of my eye.

jun said...

Hi Doc,

I wasn't surprised at the increase in the GST. When GST was raised from 3% to 5%, they had already somehow mentioned that it will go up when necessary (though I wonder how they define next year to be 'necessary') till a cap of somewhere between 11% - 15%.
What I am surprised at was the postage increase...I think it was only 22cents not too long ago...then it became the 23cents now...and soon (next month just before Christmas!) it will 25cents.
I really hadn't seen the postage hike coming. I had expected the following to be in the works after the last elections -
Transport, Electricity & Water, GST, Personal Income Tax, Employer CPF Contribution Reduction.

In theory, the gov is right to raise GST because the revenue from the increase IF USED CORRECTLY will really benefit the poor.

But once personal income tax goes up and the employer CPF contribution is reduced, our 'real' income will definitely go down! Has salary gone up sufficiently to 'cover' all these reductions? Nope.

Sounds excellent for corporate bosses because they pay lesser corporate taxes and will be able to save on the CPF.

But, I see only the word Trouble.

Casper said...

Hi Dr Huang,

On the bright side, I am paying 17.5% VAT in UK and my business remit large sum of money to the government each month and acting as salaryless tax collector.

I am wondering why the genius run PAP government did not figure out that a 2 tier GST system would keep everyone happy. A 20% GST on luxury business establishment and the status quo on the rest would probably allow Sg GOV to meet the funding requirement and at the same time keeps everyone happy.

When a millionair consums, he/she will not really care about a 20% GST. A consumer will decide to purchase a $5000 plasma screen will not be too much hurt by a $1000 GST, after all, he/she had decided to splash out for a piece of luxury item, so he should also fund the needy at the same time.

casper @ www.e-malaysian.org

Anonymous said...

Recently, I had some exchanges with a person on the internet who takes a position that Singaporeans are just irritated with the Govtfor its treatment of the opposition parties.

He argues that without the vision of that one man, Singapore will not be what it is today.. and the majority of Singaporeans are generally contented with the way things are and are fully in agreement and compliant with the Govt.

He also feels that things as it is in Singapore will not change one bit for many years to come because he believes that this man of great vision will be able to put in place a system that will safeguard and guarantee that there wiil not be a let up on its hold on the populace..

He also states that Singaporeans think that the ruling party are Gods and visionaries and Singaporeans kow tow to them... the take from him is that Singaporeans are so mesmerised by these people, and so weak themselves that they will not or are unable to demand for any significant changes even when Mr. Bigwig departs to the netherworld.

What do you think will happen in Singapore when Mr. Big passes on? Will things remain as they are, or will there be changes for better or worse?

Please let me know what are your feelings and responses.

nofearSingapore said...

jun:I agree times will get tougher for everyone esply the poor.
I think corporate and income tax will probably come down and the govt is trying to recoup this loss via GST hike. The crap about helping the poor is just crap.It just makes the story more palatable. I don't think decrease in corp tax is related to reduction in CPF for employees.
Casper:I agree. We should be lobbying for a 2-tier gst. The govt is not going to abolish gst so we must do the next best.
Like someone said, there are only 2 certainties in life, " Death & Taxes"

Anon:There are many S'poreans who have taken the whole story , bait-hook and sinker". Of course the Man did more good than bad, and we are more than ok by any standards, but let's not get carried away. He is no god and not even an angel.
He will pass on, as all mortals will, after which we will then be able to live as normal people all over the world do. We will decide our own destiny, make some mistakes along the way, sieve out the good politicians from the bad, and if God willing ( the real one), we will have a happy, prosperous and real life. Not life like the one we had in the past years. We will no longer let any one man decide our destiny.
That's my take. What's yours?


nofearSingapore said...

Hi anon,
to continue on the discussion.
I do agree that we have been massively been depoliticised.This is extremely disturbing as a group of 20 ( in the politburo) can never been smarter than 3 millions ( if we put our heads together).
So, when the man leaves to netherworld, don't expect riots or revolutions. S'poreans has forgotten the habit of speaking out for our rights and we will meekly take whatever the next MAN dish out to us.
Sad but true.
Apathy of S'poreans is the worst legacy that the MAN would be remembered for ultimately.


BG said...

These were my responses : there were more articulated exchanges but, Singapore is not ready to read them

"Lee Sr hides no bones when he said he borrowed much from the legacies of the Catholic Church...being acquainted with the History of the Church and its
past , both colorful and dark... so while I do give him credit.... there is already a track record from an institution of more than 2000 years...."

There is hope for Singapore , I dismiss as bunkum ,detractors and pessimists. that Singapore is under such a visehold that cannot be broken off.. the recent elections where 33.4% voted for the opposition inspite of threats of denial or withdrawal of privileges and millions of dollars of upgrading did not faze the people in the least... that two oppositions members are elected again and again, inspite all that the PAP machinery had thrown at them ,showed resolute , determination and courage.. there are many talented and capable peoples who do not come forward now because of the prevailing political climate... there was a strong critique till he was bought over with an ambassadorship..that we have a growing enlightened and enquiring youth behold tremendous promise .. I believe that a more vibrant and a less brow beaten and enslaved society will eventually emerge.. there will be battles to be fought first without a doubt but I am optimistic....

Casper said...

Hi Dr Huang,

Actually GST is not a bad tax. It is far more difficult to escape and cheap to collect. High income tax does not work on the rich they have plenty of accountant and lawyers working for them. But when the spend, at least GST is collected.

There are several ways round this:
(i) Exempt all good under say $100 so there is less impact on the poor, a standard rate for other items and a super rate on luxury goods.

(ii) A rebate scheme where every family in Singapore gets a rebate of GST based on the spending pattern of a typical family of a particular size. This is good for the poor who spend less as this is cash in their hand. The significance of this rabate in someone who spends $100000 a year would be absolutely negligible.

Anyone care to fwd this suggestion to the feedback unit :-)

Anonymous said...

The rich will just increase 0.1% in the markup in their business Goods/Services should cover the 2% GST increase in their spending with spare to pocket maybe.

U think the MNC or the richs are stupid not to increase their Goods and Services prices for sg market? They are also end users of some/most of the cost components of their product other than the direct costs which can be claimed from the govt. Who can assures that they will not make more profit from the markup?

The talents will get their necessary salary increment while the those jobs created for the poor and so proudly boasted by MOM are paying lesser and lesser.