Budget: Tax (up yearly) for ordinary S’poreans?


Budget: Increase taxes for ordinary Singaporeans starting from 2019, despite overall Budget surplus of $9.6 and $12 billion for FY2017 and FY2016, respectively?

I refer to the article “GST set to rise to 9% as S’pore plans for future spending needs” (Straits Times, Feb 20).

It states that “Other revenue-raising measures announced in Mr Heng’s Budget statement in Parliament were a one percentage point increase from today in the top marginal stamp duty on residential property, a 10 per cent rise in tobacco excise duty with effect from yesterday and a carbon tax first announced last year that will kick off at $5 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019.

GST will be also charged on imported services, such as video and music streaming over the Internet and consultancy and marketing services, from 2020.”

So, does this mean that ordinary S’poreans may arguably be skinned, bit by bit starting from next year?

2019 – Carbon tax which may have knock-on effects on consumer prices. And what are you getting as relief? $20 a year increase in USave rebate!

Foreign Maid Levy (without a concession) increase from $265 to $300

2020 – GST on imported services

2021 – GST start to increase to 9 per cent

In percentage terms – is the variation of 405% ($9.6 divided by $1.9 billion) in the overall Budget surplus of $9.6b against the projected $1.9b – the highest ever variance in the history of S’pore?

And what do ordinary Singaporeans – after a $9.6 billion surplus get – a one-time only $100 to $300 depending on your income (age 21 and above)!

As the estimated cost (SG Bonus $700 million special transfer) of this one-off SG bonus is $700 million – does it mean that we are getting in cash terms only about 7.3 per cent ($700 million divided by $9.6 billion) of the Budget surplus?

Why is it that the FY2018 expenditure for Health is a decrease of 2.9 per cent, when we keep hearing the rhetoric that we need to spend more on healthcare?

Since the primary reason given for increasing the water tariff by at least 30 per cent last year, was “cost” –¬† why is it that the FY2018 expenditure for Environment and Water Resources is a decrease of a whopping 21.4¬†per cent?

This is the largest decrease among all the spending categories.

If we increased the price of water because it cost more – why are we apparently spending so much less?

Uniquely Singapore!

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

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.