Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in Parliament yesterday declaring that the GST must be increased regardless of the economic conditions:
“Raising the GST, a broad-based tax, to meet a broad-based need is a sustainable approach… This is ultimately about us collectively chipping in to look after the healthcare needs of our families. Each generation must pay for its own spending.”
The PAP millionaire minister refused to answer the question of Opposition MP Pritam Singh, who asked for the government to give a breakdown of government costs to justify the 28.6% increase in GST from the nominal 7% to 9%.
The Opposition Workers’ Party objected to the increase as the PAP government is unable to provide expenditures figures:
“Govt should reveal more info on revenue and spending projections so Singaporeans can judge if GST hike is really needed.”
Minister Heng Swee Keat ignored the Opposition MP and claimed that 9% GST is “very low”:
“Singapore’s future GST rate of 9 per cent is already lower than the average rate in Asia, and less than half of the average rate among advanced economies in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Many countries in the region and elsewhere have standard GST rates that exceed 9 per cent. Even Saudi Arabia, a country with huge oil reserves, is carefully planning ahead, and introduced a 5 per cent Value Added Tax from 2018. Do we have oil? No.”
Budget 2020 saw a deficit of S$10.95 billion, but Minister Heng Swee Keat denied he is going to draw down on the national reserves.
Heng Swee Keat will be Prime Minister if the PAP wins this year’s General Election. The GST increase will be scrapped if the Opposition Workers’ Party becomes government.