Politics

Workers’ Party explains why its alternatives to GST hike will not ‘slay the golden goose’ aka SG’s reserves


The Workers’ Party made its objections to the impending Goods and Services Tax hike clear during the recent Budget 2022 debate in Parliament and is continuing to explain its stand over posts on social media.

On Friday (Apr 1), WP announced on its Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts that it was starting a new series to do just that. It aims to “highlight specific aspects” of its arguments about why the hike is “unhelpful” as well as further explain the alternatives it has put forward, and why objections to those alternatives “miss the mark.”

For the first instalment of the series, the WP tackled how its proposals for the hike will not ‘slay’ Singapore’s “golden goose” — which is how former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong once referred to the nation’s reserves. 

As the party put it in a tweet, “Say what you wanna slaaay but we ain’t slayin’ dat golden goose.”

“After drawing $42.9 billion of our past reserves and using ‘a generation’s worth of savings’, are our reserves higher or lower vs. 5 years ago?” WP added over FB and IG.

The party explained that “No one!” has killed the golden goose.

While the country’s reserves had to be tapped “to combat a crisis of a generation”—the Covid-19 pandemic—the WP argued, “yet it appears that our reserves are still higher than what it was just five years ago.”

The party then asked whether it’s still possible to grow Singapore’s reserves, though at a slower pace, rather than to draw down on people’s individual reserves, which is what a GST hike would do.

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During the Budget debate, WP chief and Leader of the Opposition Pritam Singh had said that if the question was asked whether Singapore’s reserves today are higher or lower than they were five years ago, it could be answered with just one word.

WP also quoted Finance Minister Lawrence Wong in its post, who had said, also during the Debate, that the country’s reserves are indeed growing.

It further explained that the proposals it put forward during the Budget Debate would mean slowing Singapore’s reserve growth in the same way that the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) government did in 2008 and 2015 when more money was needed to be released to meet people’s needs.

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WP’s alternatives to the GST increase will not “kill the golden goose” of Singapore’s reserves, only slow down growth.

“The goose will still lay eggs for the people,” the party added. /TISG

Pritam Singh: Workers’ Party disagrees with GST hike, will object to Budget 2022

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