Budget “cash surplus” statistics has disappeared?

I refer to the article “SG surplus for this FY may hit $6.5 billion!” (TR Emeritus, Feb 18).

Estimated $6.3b Budget surplus for the year

It states that “Mr Chua estimates the surplus to be $6.3 billion for this financial year.

This surplus which essentially is calculated by deducting expenditures from revenues does not even include the surpluses coming from land sales and capital receipts.

$36.1 or $3.9b surplus?

In fact, former Presidential candidate Tan Jee Say noted that Singapore had a surplus of $36 billion in 2012, more than 9 times the $3.9 billion figure stated in the budget statement (‘Tan Jee Say: Celebrate Hope, Welcome Change‘). The $36 billion figure includes land sales and capital receipts. This figure was taken from the financial information given by the Singapore government to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Singapore is a member of IMF and IMF requires the member country’s accounting information to be submitted in accordance to its new accounting standards.

$187b surplus in 8 years?

Mr Tan said that going back to 2005 (the earliest year for which the relevant data could be obtained), the total cumulative surpluses including land sales and capital receipts in the 8 years from 2005 to 2012 amount to a staggering $187 billion, which is nearly 11 times more than the disclosed amount in the annual budget statements of those years.

This information was first obtained through IMF’s website and analyzed by Leong Sze Hian, a prominent social media blogger on financial matters.”

FY2012 surplus has disappeared?

In the recently released Department of Statistics’ (DOS) Monthly Digest of Statistics January 2014, the cash surplus/deficit (14.5 Government Finance) for FY2012 (the $36.1 billion referred to above) is missing.

Have FY2011, FY2010, July to December 2013, but no FY2012?

It shows the cash surplus for FY2011 and FY2010, at $27.3663 and $19.6213 billion respectively, but there is no figure for FY2012.

Why is this so?

$14.6b surplus for the 2nd half of 2013?

The cash surplus from July 2013 to December 2013 is shown and I totaled up the figures for these 6 months – which came to $14.6002 billion.

Since the sum for the second half of 2013 was $14.600.2 billion – what is the sum for the whole year of FY2013? About $28 billion?

Latest Yearbook of Statistics 2013 – no more cash surplus statistics?

The Yearbook of Statistics 2013 does not have the cash surplus/deficit statistics (anymore?).

In contrast, the Yearbook of Statistics 2012 does show the cash/deficit statistics – $28.247, 2.905, 21.797, 35.084, 18.347 and 18.024 billion, for 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005, respectively.

This adds up to a cumulative cash surplus of $124.404 billion for the 6 years from 2006 to 2010.

You will note that the figure of $28.247 in 2010 is different from the $19.621.3 (for the same FY2010?) in the Monthly Digest of Statistics January 2014 cited above.

Why is this so?

Still $187b cash surplus from 2005 to 2012?

Anyway, if we add the cash surplus of $27.3663 billion for FY2011 cited above, and the “missing” $36.1 billion for FY2012, to the $124.404 billion for the 6 years from 2005 to 2010, the cumulative total for the 8 years from 2005 to 2012 is $187.8703 billion.

By the way, this $187.8703 billion very closely coincides with the $187 billion surplus for the same 8 years, which I had calculated when I first analysed the data last year.

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the 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), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.