Donations down 36%, lowest welfare spending in the world?

ST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIAST PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA

I refer to the article “Donations plunge after high of SG50” (Straits Times, Sep 9).

It states that “After a record amount of tax-deductible donations during Singapore’s Golden Jubilee in 2015, the feel-good sentiment waned and the amount received last year fell sharply by 36 per cent, from $1.361 billion to $865.6 million.

It is the lowest since 2011 and the situation may not improve this year, charities say.

We only spent a miserly $130 million to a whopping 87,000 beneficiaries a year from ComCare, to help needy Singaporeans in financial need.

Lowest social welfare spending?

This puts our social welfare spending as a percentage of GDP, at probably the lowest in the world among developed and developing countries.

Singapore’s ranking for Social Protection is 29 out of the 30 countries that make up the advanced economies in the world (WEF Index).

Social welfare spending: $2.5b vs $130m?

Perhaps arguably, the biggest difference between Hong Kong and Singapore may be that whilst Hong Kong’s social welfare spending was HK$13.4 billion (S$2.5 billion) –  Singapore’s equivalent (ComCare) spending was only S$130 million.

$25b a year cash Budget surplus?

In this connection, it may be interesting to note that the Budget surplus last year was $5.2 billion, and according to the Department of Statistics Monthly Digest of Statistics October 2015 – we had a cash Budget surplus under IMF fiscal reporting guidelines of $25.3 billion in FY2013 as well as FY2012, and an estimated $900 billion in the Reserves.

Is Singapore the country with the highest Budget surplus (per capita) in the world?

Is Singapore the country (amongst developed and developing countries) with one of the lowest government spending as a percentage of GDP? According to the Economist (Sep 27, 2014) – “(in) Denmark, government spending runs to nearly 60% of GDP. More diverse America allocates just 39% of GDP to government, in polyglot Singapore the figure is just 14%”.

We should spend more to help Singaporeans.

CDCs competing with charities?

Why are CDCs competing with other charities for “limited” charity donations?

How much funds do CDCs raise in total in a year?

When did the CDCs start raising funds, on top of the funding provided by the Government?

Do MPs arguably – may have an “unfair” advantage when they raise funds vis-a-vis other charities?

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong
Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.