A GST Promise by Tharman

Echoing what PM Lee claimed some weeks back that the budget is sound and there is no need to increase GST after the GE, Finance Minister Tharman himself re-assured locals that an expected increase of GST to 10% after GE is not in the pipeline for at least 5 years.

Can we trust the PAP government to keep to its promise? Particularly as this pledge to keep GST at the current 7% is not without conditions. The PAP arguably failed to keep its pre-GE 2006 promise of lower healthcare costs  and what would prevent it from going back on its word for delaying a GST increase for at least 5 years?

Nothing. As the PAP can simply come up with real or imagined reasons especially if they continue to dominate the 87 seats in parliament from May onwards. In 2006, the PAP explained away the need for GST to increase from 5% to 7% after GE 2006 by reasoning that the increase in the regressive tax was to help the poor in a ridiculous Robbing Peter to Pay Paul policy. That is the outcome if the PAP has a control over parliament and can pass bills and policies without real competition.

GE: Tharman says GST will not be raised for at least another 5 years

SINGAPORE : Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has reiterated that the goods and services tax (GST) will not be raised for at least another five years.

Mr Tharman said there is no need to raise the GST as Singapore’s budget is in a healthy state.

The GST was last raised from 5 per cent to 7 per cent in 2007.

Mr Tharman was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a community event in Jurong on Saturday.

He said: “As Finance Minister, I have made that very clear in Parliament that at least for the next five years – it does not mean we will raise it in five years’ time – but at least for five years, there is absolutely no reason to raise the GST, because this was the whole idea – we strengthen our revenue base in time. In fact, in the good years before the crisis, it came in very handy in the crisis but it is also going to come in handy in the next five years when we build our infrastructure in health, in infrastructure and we increase our support for the poor.

“Basically, the GST and changes to the constitution have provided us a lot addition to our revenue base. Firstly, it has provided us to react very forcefully during the crisis, it wasn’t just the draw on the reserves…we were very fortunate that we made the revenue changes in time so that we could react forcefully to help Singapore through the crisis and now post-crisis, it has helped us to build up our infrastructure, education, health, including continuous education and training.

“That was the original motivation for GST, help the poor more and prepare Singaporeans for the future through investment income, two very solid sources of revenue to help us in the years to come.”

Mr Tharman also said that his team is taking the opposition seriously, whether they are well-known or otherwise.

But he said that the People’s Action Party (PAP) team has a track record in Jurong, having made many improvements for the elderly, children and low-income families in the last 10 years.

Mr Tharman added that aside from national schemes, Jurong also has its own local schemes that have benefited the residents there, and so residents already know what the PAP can do more and that they can deliver on their promises.

4 Responses

  1. Once bitten, twice shy.
    Twice bitten, thrice must ask why.
    Again and again bitten, we better be wise.

    Therefore, it’s wise to trust ourselves, than to trust some millionaire-ministers whose own selfish self-enriching interest is at great stake.

    For the past 5 years, what did the millionaire-ministers gave to us?

    1. Housing problems – caused by greedy profit-oriented policies of HDB.
    2. Jobs problems – especially old people cannot find jobs and young people cannot find decent-paying jobs.
    3. Cost-of-living problems – High Inflation – prices of essential goods keep going up and up and up ….
    4. Stagnant and depressed wages.
    5. Extremely High Ministerial pay and bonuses, perks, etc. tantamount to raiding our national coffers and reserves.
    6. High Civil Admin cost due to high pays and bonuses being paid to the civil service, police and military personnel.
    7. The shameful and inexcusable blunder of allowing Mas Selamat to escape, not once but twice and yet did not even know that he was hiding at his niece’s residence during the first two days of his 2nd escapade.
    8. Huge Temasek loses and GIC losses but have yet to account to the public/taxpayers.
    9. Institutional Dominance and Control for selfish interest of prolonging and holding to power.
    10. Making use of public funds for political motives.
    11. Redrawing of boundaries of constituencies to give added advantage to themselves.
    12. Marking of ballot boxes in such a way that voting trend by blocks are known.
    13. Control of the Mass Media.
    14. Control of the NTUC.
    15. Opening the floodgate for Foreigners influx.
    16. MAS – did not take proactive actions to prevent or avoid the financial debacle caused by toxic financial instruments.
    17. PAP Town Councils mismanagement of public funds – losses caused by reckless investments in toxic financial instruments.
    18. Health cost and facilities – health cost keeps going up, waiting time at hospitals and polyclinic can be as much as 6 hours, number of beds in hospital limited, and doctors and nurses are mainly foreigners.
    19. Why the PM need 7 other ministers to help him in his Office – 1 MM, 2 SMs, 2 DPMs, 3 Ministers w/o Portfolio in PMO?
    20. Income inequality and income gap getting wider and wider.
    21) Transport problems – too many unnecessary ERPs; congestion in MRT trains and buses due to too many foreigners in Singapore.
    22) Freedom and liberty problems – 19 new laws enacted to further restrict freedom of expression, movement and assembly.
    23) ETC.

    Wake up, my dear fellow Singaporeans!
    Wake up, my dear fellow voters!
    Wake up now, before it is too late!

    Think carefully without fear. Think for your children’s future. Do you want the status quo to go on and on, without any respite, without any breather, without even able to shout for “HELP!”?

    You have the power. This power is in your own hands. Use it to HELP yourself FIRST instead of the multi-millionaire Minit$er$!

    If you missed this chance, you will have to wait for another 5 years …..

  2. PAP *may* not raise GST for another 3 years. However this doesn’t mean that they will continue to withhold GST from various essential cost items that are currently being withheld, such as hospital bills, polyclinics, and town council conservancy fees.

    Both govt hospitals and PAP town councils are operating at large profit margins i.e. what we pay more than covers their costs and fund accumulation needs. Polyclinics are probably operating at break-even. This shows that such services don’t need GST at all. Moreover, other govt revenue such as income tax, corporate tax, land sales etc are able to cover essential services many times over. It’s whether the govt wants to use its money or wants us to fork over more money.

  3. […] wrote: 2 years = few also A GST Promise by Tharman | The Sun Shines on Singapore __________________ Don't quote me. Thank […]

  4. […] A GST Promise by Tharman | The Sun Shines on Singapore __________________ 菩提本无树 明镜亦非台 本来无一物 何处惹尘埃 […]

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