Tan Kin Lian
Since I have been blocked by Mr. Tan, I will put up my itemized responses to his posting here.
1. The surplus is a one-time gain. It’s not a structural spin-off and may not happen again.
However, expenses are increasing.
Therefore, there’s a need to look into the potential of increasing the GST.
2. As a result of the surplus, the authorities decide to share it with the people on a progressive basis rather than retaining or re-deploying the funds.
3. The previous generation improves the country for us. We should do the same for the next generation.
4. Defending Singapore is a key to our security, stability, and sustainability.
If we are weak, our enemies can bully or control us. If we are rich, all the more they will want to bully and control us.
If we are strong, they are less likely to abuse us.
History has taught us that our enemies can be anybody and from anywhere.
Our commitment to total defense will also help attract stronger foreign investment and faith in our country.
5. We need to attract foreign students to improve inputs and contributions to our educational system and widen our contacts.
In addition, we can attract talents to stay back and support our communities and country, especially because we have a relatively low total fertility rate (TFR).
Many developed countries have adopted the same practice.
Many countries, including Scandinavian and some Middle Eastern countries, either provide free education or offer substantial educational subsidies.
6. The rich are already more heavily taxed than the others.
About 11.5% of taxpayers contribute 80% of income from tax.
About 60% of Singaporeans don’t pay any taxes.
There are few if any country that has crafted and implemented a more strategic, targeted, balanced and catalytic budget – almost year after year since its independence.
I hope this message will find a place in your heart.
By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.
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