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Jamus Lim sought to clarify the Workers’ Party’s proposed policy regarding Singapore’s reserves, as the writer of a letter posted to the Chinese-language news site zaobao.com.sg appeared to believe that this policy would “plunder” the reserves and destroy the next generation Singaporeans ‘impoverished and indebted’.
The context of the letter is about the increase in taxes on goods and services, which the WP continues to oppose. The letter writer, Mr. Lim, wrote that WP’s policy of using Singapore’s reserves to fund the government’s aid packages would take a toll on future generations.
The letter was published on November 15 and the rebuttal from the Sengkang GRC MP, an associate professor of economics at ESSEC Business School, was published three days later.
Assoc Prof Lim first thanked the letter writer for acknowledging the importance of having multiple opinions in Congress before clarifying that neither he nor the other WP MPs are suggesting that aid packages be financed by borrowing.
Further is in April the WP explained why its GST hike alternatives wouldn’t “kill the golden goose”, former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong once referred to the country’s reserves.
And in a Facebook post on Sunday (Nov. 20), the MP added that he finds it hard to believe the argument that the WP’s proposed policy would deplete Singapore’s reserves.
“Firstly – as I emphasized in the piece – slowing down the rate of accumulation of reserves can hardly be called taking them away. It’s like someone is claiming that since they cut their meals from six to five a day, they’re now on a diet.
Secondly, the money spent today is not wasted. Often it is used to fund important government expenditures such as education and infrastructure. These are investments in the future to begin with, even if the expenditure is today.
Finally, even if the expenditure goes to non-investment needs like health care for the elderly, why should it necessarily amount to selling our children?
Assoc Prof Lim ended his post by writing, “If we cut back on paying for essential preventive and corrective health care today, the bill will eventually come later and our children could end up being saddled with an even more expensive palliative care bill.”
The letter to Zaobao can be found hereand Assoc Prof Lim’s rebuttal here. /TISG
WP continues to oppose a GST hike, calling it ‘irresponsible’ at this point
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