So for the past week, “GST” seemed to be the buzz word from many MPs, NMPs, NCMPs, who have in one way or another voiced their views on the matter during the Budget debate 2018.
Well, because so many people in Parliament spoke, we thought it would be easier to just paint out some of the arguments that were brought up. Here you go:
- Raising GST is definitely not a good thing la! But, this also showed that our government is honest and upfront about the GST hike and announcing it way in advance to prepare the people for the adjustment. We need see far and plan ahead!
- Why are we increasing GST and not taxing the ultra-rich hard enough?
- Are we able to find alternative sources to grow our reserves instead of raising GST?
- Are we putting too much into our reserves and not spending as we should? We are currently spending 50 per cent of our Net Investment Returns Contribution (NIRC). Why can’t this percentage be increased to finance the country’s needs?
- Are we able to consider using the proceeds from land sales to boost our revenue instead?
- Can we not distract people from the Budget with the GST hike?
Okay okay, so let’s not be distracted by all the arguments. Various media outlets have given us the answer, which came from the Prime Minister himself at a Chinese New Year dinner he attended in his constituency. The man has spoken:
Q: Why do we need to raise GST in 3 to 7 years’ time?
PM said that this is necessary as Government spending will increase largely from an ageing population, and this will help fund the increase in spending.
He also explained that the ageing society and healthcare is not a rainy day issue. In fact, it’s a long-term trend and expenses is likely to increase as we age many years down the road.
Q: Have we not considered drawing more from the reserves before we decide to raise taxes?
Well, if you have thought of it, there’s no doubt that none of our leaders have not thought of tapping on more of our reserves. Question is why cannot, which brings us back to the question above.
PM said that the Government has thought over its options carefully, such as drawing more from the reserves. But he said the Government has decided against this option as they are Singapore’s “precious nest egg”. Otherwise, “when the rain comes and the children and grandchildren need the money, really truly, they will find it’s gone”.
If we use the reserves for something we need money for every day, such as healthcare expenses, soon our piggy banks will be empty. Sounds logical bo?
Q: So why are we announcing it now instead of nearer to date? Distraction ah?
Based on reports, PM said this was so that people can plan ahead for the tax increase, and announcing it now is the responsible and honest thing for Government to do. It is not just about listing out “all the good things”, but also how these will be paid for and why the Government has to increase taxes.
He also said that the Government will need to plan ahead and work out the spending and announce it early so that people can also plan ahead.
Make sense? Better to say early than to be caught by surprise right? After all, GST hike will not be a pleasant surprise la. Siao, who likes it. So Gahmen says it is giving you more time to plan for the future.
Somemore last year so much hooha over the 30 percent water price hike, this time want to make sure people get early notice?
So you buy the explanations? Well, we shall leave it to you to decide.