Speaking to state media reporters yesterday (Feb 2) about the coming Budget, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat called for Singaporeans to pay more taxes to fund the military:
“Security spending will be a very major item in the upcoming Budget. I do expect our security expenditure to go up because we want to be able to support our security agencies in this very important mission to keep Singapore safe and secure…Singaporeans are taking national security issues very seriously.”
The Finance Minister has earlier said that the new taxes are supposed to fund the growing healthcare expenditures, but backtracked saying that more money will be spent on defence.
In Budget 2016, the Defence, Home Affairs and Foreign ministries spent a total of S$19.5 billion – more than 25% of the total government expenditures. This is already 30% higher than the S$14.8 billion spent in 2011.
When questioned how is Singapore to pay for all these billions wasted on defence, Minister Heng Swee Keat dodged the question mumbling and refused to reveal how much more the defence budget will increase:
“…we need to do our long-term expenditure projection as well as our long-term revenue needs.”