A tax is a financial charge imposed upon an individual by a state to fund various public expenditures.
Income tax and Goods Service Tax (GST) are just but a few of the examples the government is collecting money from us to help fund their public expenditure.
What kind of public expenditure you ask?
Well… Roads. Parks. Rails, Street lights…Security…. you know things that Singaporeans take for granted
The taxes collected will also be used to fund the subsidies for basic necessities such as housing and healthcare so that it remains affordable for all Singaporeans.
This General Election, candidates from all camps are calling for subsidies on basic necessities to be increased, some even called for cold hard cash to be given out to the public. They say the government has billions in reserve and can easily afford such a move.
Singapore Democratic Party wanted to raise the country’s health care expenditure from 30 percent to 70 percent.
The Reform Party promised to give every Singaporean below 16 a $300 monthly child benefit and $500 a month to seniors older than 65
Singapore First Party wants the more subsidies for transport and childcare fees.
In essence, more money for everyone.
The public nodded in agreement.
Nobody likes to pay taxes but everyone loves subsidies (i.e. lower costs of basic necessities).
The reality is that one cannot do without the other.
Our taxes fund the subsidies. We cannot have more subsidies without raising the taxes.
“When you think of free heathcare or close to free…Social services that we all like the idea of, you must realise that it is not free. The average citizen is paying and paying for it big time” – Finance Minister, Tharman
Who should we tax more than?
The middle income? The companies? The foreigners?
For first world country with no natural resource (i.e Oil!), we are already paying one of the lowest taxes in the world (source)
We may not realise this but the benefits ensures that our children will not be uneducated, they will always have a roof above their heads and they will never be turned away at hospitals.
These are benefits that other citizens of other first world countries such as Germany have to pay an arm and a leg for in terms of taxes (source)
Want to know what the best part of it all?
Our finance minister has been upfront and state very clearly that the government will not be increasing the GST for the next 5 years.