Senior Minister of State Indranee Rajah told Bloomberg yesterday (Nov 22) that a tax increase is now justified because Singapore is now rich enough:
“It must be all based on solid economic activity. Singapore’s economy is absolutely in such a state now.”
Minister Indranee also claimed that GST helps the poor, without giving any figures:
“The broad nature of the GST and the offset packages that have been in place to help lower-income residents demonstrate how the system meets those principles.”
Without any statistics, the PAP Minister also claimed that Singaporeans are spending more and that the dictatorship has been using money “wisely and prudently”:
“We have been spending quite a bit on our social spending in the last few years, introducing a great number of social support measures. We have been using the money wisely and prudently. But we are also looking ahead, we are seeing needs for infrastructure spending, spending on ageing population. So we are going to have to need to think of ways in the future of how to fund that.”
The Minister also then proposed that Singapore should start taxing online purchases and tells Singaporeans to “do your shopping now” before the new tax is levied.
“You can imagine, 20 years from now, the way people purchase is very different and by that time online platforms will be mainstays, so if that’s not part of the tax regime, there’s going to be a lot of holes there. This change should have been achieved probably yesterday. Currently, online shoppers in Singapore are generally not taxed for their purchases, so long as the order does not exceed S$400. Because it’s a new area, and you want to have a look at countries that have implemented it and you want to learn from them, it’s not something we’re going to rush into but it’s also not something you can put off for too long. So do your shopping.”
There is no mention of salaries reduction for the S$53-million-a-year Ministerial Cabinet.