The issue with privileges is that once given, it is sometimes difficult to take them away.

Over time, people grow accustomed to these privileges, and see them as “rights”. And when you try to take these “rights” away, they will see it as bad or unfair.


Some highly paid working mothers are unhappy with the government’s recent decision to cap income tax reliefs at 80k.

The Straits Times ran a story citing the case study of a certain Ms Elizabeth Chan who has two children. Ms Chan’s yearly income is a cool 250k (!). Under the new regulations, she will have to pay about $15,588, compared to her current $10,000. This works to be about a 50% increase, which has left her hopping mad!

Ms Chan said that she belonged to the “sandwiched generation, taking care of ageing parents and our children. Every cent counts”.

Now, let’s put things into perspective.

Ms Chan’s monthly income works out to be approximately 20k. Her monthly household income is probably more than that, assuming she is married and her husband is also working.

And she’s complaining about paying 5k more in taxes per year? Maybe she could deal with this tax by buying one less Prada bag a year.

(Rings a bell? Sounds like the foreign couple who complained about the high cost of living in Singapore when they are earning a combined 29k per month.)

Now Ms Chan, unfortunately, you’re among the one percent of resident tax payers who are affected by this cap.

Unfortunately, you’re one of working mothers who are unfortunately earning above 150k per year whom tax experts said would end up paying more tax because of this cap.

Unfortunately, you’re one of those who have to pay for the increased social spending in Singapore. You’re one of those who have to pay the price for making Singapore a more caring, inclusive and progressive society.

So Ms Elizabeth Chan…(and all the other high income earners like her)

On the behalf of lower-income parents whose children will also be getting $3000 upfront into the Child Development Account (CDA), I thank you.

On behalf of the lower-income elderly who will be getting a quarter pay-out of 300 to 750 under the Silver Support Scheme, I thank you.

Thank you for your contribution towards nation-building! 


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