“Once land is sold, the asset is gone.”
PAP MP Lim Biow Chuan abruptly stood up to oppose Workers’ Party MP Pritam Singh’s suggestion that land sales revenue be used to fund the country’s expenditures. The PAP MP was however notably embarrassed when fellow MP Sylvia Lim pointed out that land sales are only on a leasehold terms – 10, 30, 60, 99 years or any time frame depending on the government’s conditions – and eventually be reverted back to the state.
The PAP MP of Mountbatten then retreated to his seat realising his mistake and corrected himself saying:
“Land is sold on 99-year leases, which means a land parcel sold can only be sold again after the lease expires in 99 years.”
There is then no further opposition from the PAP to WP MP Pritam Singh’s suggestion.
In 2017, the Singapore government sold 36 plots of farm land at 60 hectares with only 20-year leaseholds. Some light industry areas were sold with 60 years lease. It is hence fake news by the PAP MP to only point out that all lands are sold with 99 years leases.
WP MP Pritam Singh has made the suggestion as an alternative solution to raising the GST to 9%, and slammed the PAP government for not considering the consequences of raising GST.
“GST may well have to rise, but Singaporeans could be more likely to accept it if the Government considers the pros and cons of moving from the establishing orthodoxy, and consider new approaches that improve social protection thresholds for all.”
MP Pritam Singh also slammed the PAP government for not providing enough information that led to the decision behind raising GST, pointing out that there is no projected expenditures or estimates provided by the government:
“The Government had not made clear what its projected expenditure will be in future when GST is slated to go up by 2 per cent. Initiatives under the Smart Nation push, such as moving to become a cashless society, could also make Singapore more efficient in tax collection and is likely to have a positive impact on tax revenues. Given this, there is a lack of clarity on whether it is necessary to raise GST. In view of the absence of such details, the Workers’ Party is unable to support the announcement of a GST hike at this moment in time.”