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Thread: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

  1. #1
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    Default I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Well, not really

    What I want is for a way for the country to prosper, but also for the poor not to be left too far behind. Sounds like a contradictory aim, doesn't it? So, what to do? Who's responsible?

    NATION BUILDING

    It is my opinion that in order for this to work, it needs a partnership between the g'ment and the people. One cannot do it without the other. This is the so called social compact. The citizenry need to understand the reality of a competitive global landscape, and make the necessary adjustments and sacrifices, and the government needs to provide the the guidance and leadership, make the tough decisions and not merely the popular ones.

    What part do the populace have to play in this? I once spoke with a Danish citizen with whom I had some business dealings. The topic on to universal health care and the high taxes required to maintain a state of 'welfare' in the country. Anybody who knows Denmark would be coznizant of the high personal income taxes and consumption tax, and he was a high wage earner and would frankly have been better off in a lower taxation country. BUT.....his position was that he felt it was his duty to stay and had no qualms about forking out close on 30% of his annual income so that a inclusive health system, education and unemployment benefits can be sustained. As PM Lee said in today's papers, these are homogenous nations with a strong sense of nationhood, and can perhaps tolerate such a strenuous 'social compact'.

    Boy oh boy, was he right! If he were to revisit CS today, he would have seen a bunch of folk just waiting to quit SG over a measly 2% hike in GST. THAT is how much we are willing to tolerate in the name of nation building.

    WHO ARE THE REAL POOR?

    Well, with the all the huff and puff this morning, you would think that suddenly food had disappeared from the dinner tables and people had been evicted from their houses. The most hilarious is the part where people maintain their right to hobbies whilst paying an extra 2 cents on a dollar for arguably luxury goods (DSLR anybody?) is too much of a stretch. That's the price of progress I guess, we've become a nation of soft, navel-gazing, self-indulgent brats. For those who continue to throw infantile tantrums about their right to maintain an expensive hobby, I don't have a shred of sympathy, and thankfully, neither do the g'ment.

    What is it on a practical sense? If your household expenditure is basic, on utilities, food, clothing etc, how much can you get by on monthly? Maybe a thousand dollars? What does the hike translate to? $20 more? OTOH, you decide to by that Canon 30D, suddenly it will cost you $40 more on a single purchase. It is okay to pay Canon in excess of $2000 for a camera you will maybe use twice a week, but $40 to the g'ment to pursue a social policy is too much?

    You want to know poor? They are around you. No, not the guy who had to buy a Hyundai rather than a Honda, not the fellow who had to settle for a Tamron lens rather than an original Nikon. For the poor, it really matters that the get the handouts and government aid. If the practitioners of photography have to pay more for their goods to achieve that aim, tough, and I am all for it.

    WHOSE MONEY IS IT ANYWAY?

    Folk have been talking as it there is a distinction between government money and their own money. Excuse me, government money IS your money, not only because you put it there, but also because it belongs to you, in an indirect way. Not convinced? Ask yourself, if a government goes bankrupt and defaults on loans, who suffers? Have you all already forgotten the Asian Financial Crisis of the late '90s? I can tell you the citizens of Thailand and Indonesia suffered real and significant drop in standards of living. As usual, who suffers greatest? The poor and the middle class, of course, the same middle class who in SG are now clamouring to get the g'ment to spend it all so that the GST can stay flat.

    DISCUSS/DISCOURSE

    What's the point of all the emotional knee jerk wailing? This is a serious issue which warrants close examination. Am I convinced that this hike the right way? Absolutely not! But not the whole picture has been revealed, and I think PM Lee deserves a fair hearing. Last but not least, I hope that all and sundry here, those in possession of the red passport and co-passengers on this little red dot, understand their roles in making this a society work, even if it comes at a small cost (2%) to themselves.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!



    /me help u forward to M.I.W...

    for the last part... i'm still waiting for more press reports...
    Logging Off. "You have 2,631 messages stored, of a total 400 allowed." don't PM me.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Very well written note. Insightful and profound

    The GST can go up, but I like to see employee contribution go down by 7%. Wishful thinking

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    And I guess till he reveals more details on the 'expanded social net' to help the needy, all cusses here are basically blind rants and kneejerk reaction to 2%.

    After all, till its revelation, the Nation's budget proposal & speech are supposed to be Top Secret documents which I'm sure none of us here (including me) have the calibre to even peek at such things.

    Till PM Lee's budget speech, perhaps everyone shld just keep a clear mind on it, and start spending less on impulse purchases like the sweet EF 16-35 f/2.8 or Nikkor 17-35 f/2.8 and save more or charge higher (for working pros) to offset!
    "Wonders of the Human Mind. Unfathomable to the highest degree."

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Not meant to be a knee-jerk reaction but I'm just thinking that GST was 3% in 2002 and will be 7% in 2007, there is a trend that is worrying.

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dawgbyte77 View Post
    Not meant to be a knee-jerk reaction but I'm just thinking that GST was 3% in 2002 and will be 7% in 2007, there is a trend that is worrying.
    An indeed it is. However, one needs to look at the taxation package in its entirety and do a little benchmarking.

  7. #7

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    like 12% GST in NZ...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    An indeed it is. However, one needs to look at the taxation package in its entirety and do a little benchmarking.
    Not really sure about the mechanics and equality on benchmarking so I will just agree on that.

    2003 = 3%, 2004 = 4%, 2005 = 5%... 2007 = 7%... this means year 2012 is when we will reach NZ standard. Hmm... odd that 2006 was sort of skipped.

  9. #9

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    In some ways... we do pay less for our personal income taxes. But then like some other CS'ers had mentioned, there are no countries in the world that asked their citizens to pay for a paper before buying a car for usage only for 10 years, at the same time paying for road tax and additional charges going into certain areas or using certain expressways.

    Our "national" telco had our own ppl investing in it irregardless of our own opinion, our gov't set up companies becoming private companies without an explanation to the public.

    Money invested in wherever, whatever and whoever, all of it we do not know.

    Yeah, our gov't do need money to keep the economy going... by? buying cheaper stuffs that might be coming from overseas? no tax rebates to companies who actually do employ locals.

    By all means, Tax us more, get us to pay more GSTs, it's okay. But please, show us the bill.
    Explain to us, where do our money go? and what is actually our reserves? Don't treat us like cows, milk us but don't tell us where our milk is going.

  10. #10

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Don't be so naive le.... Its not the $40 we refuse to give. I m very sure many of us constantly give more then that already every month. It's where the money actually goes to.....

    ---See this---

    Singapore Ministers' Basic Annual Salaries (without performance bouses)
    and, at age 55, Singapore Ministers collect both a salary and their full pension. Parliament website...
    Singapore President's Basic Salary US$1,500,000 (SGD$2,507,200)
    Singapore's current President, Nathan, was a member of the dreaded Japanese Kampeti
    (uniform, sword and all) during the Japanese occupation of Singapore.
    Singapore Prime Minister's Basic Salary US$1,100,000 (SGD1,958,000)
    Minister's Basic: US$655,530 to US$819,124 (SGD1,166,844 to SGD1,458,040) a year
    Average Singaporean: US$26,000 (SGD43,104 or SGD3,592 per mo) Source: Singapore Ministry of Manpower

    PM Lee
    Salary as Prime Minister $2million yearly
    Salary as Finance Minister $1.2million yearly
    Variable Bonus: 6months salary minimum yearly
    Full Medical Benefits - Private Specialist Consultant on regular standby - Yearly cost to tax payers $200,000
    Security cost: Approximately $1.5million yearly
    First class travel and stays at top hotels when he travels on business trips

    United States of America
    President: Increased to US$400,000 on Jan. 20, 2001, with US$50,000 expenses
    Vice President: US$202,900
    Cabinet Secretaries: US$157,000

    United Kingdom
    Prime Minister: US$170,556
    Ministers: US$146,299

    Australia
    Prime Minister: US$137,060
    Deputy Prime Minister: US$111,439
    Treasurer: US$102,682

    Source: Asian Wall Street Journal July 10 2000.
    Singapore President's salary which was updated in 2005 from the Singapore Straits Times.

    ---end---

    In the other site, discussion on
    http://forums.vr-zone.com/showthread...ghlight=salary

    Bring this up again.

    It's always what they do with the money, and with PMS-like regularity and spectacular ways they manage to "lose" money in foreign projects/countries.

    If I did not know that SG is a corrupt-free country, people may think they actually are using such excuses to pay people/country off in-return for sand/water/satellites...... or worse .. themselves!

    We all know better... all the people in politics are in it becos they want to serve, the $$$$ we stuff into their pockets is not their fault!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by Del_CtrlnoAlt View Post


    /me help u forward to M.I.W...

    for the last part... i'm still waiting for more press reports...
    146 plays only Gold 90.5
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  12. #12
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by Caspere View Post
    Don't be so naive le.... Its not the $40 we refuse to give. I m very sure many of us constantly give more then that already every month. It's where the money actually goes to.....

    ---See this---

    Singapore Ministers' Basic Annual Salaries (without performance bouses)
    and, at age 55, Singapore Ministers collect both a salary and their full pension. Parliament website...
    Singapore President's Basic Salary US$1,500,000 (SGD$2,507,200)
    Singapore's current President, Nathan, was a member of the dreaded Japanese Kampeti
    (uniform, sword and all) during the Japanese occupation of Singapore.
    Singapore Prime Minister's Basic Salary US$1,100,000 (SGD1,958,000)
    Minister's Basic: US$655,530 to US$819,124 (SGD1,166,844 to SGD1,458,040) a year
    Average Singaporean: US$26,000 (SGD43,104 or SGD3,592 per mo) Source: Singapore Ministry of Manpower

    PM Lee
    Salary as Prime Minister $2million yearly
    Salary as Finance Minister $1.2million yearly
    Variable Bonus: 6months salary minimum yearly
    Full Medical Benefits - Private Specialist Consultant on regular standby - Yearly cost to tax payers $200,000
    Security cost: Approximately $1.5million yearly
    First class travel and stays at top hotels when he travels on business trips

    United States of America
    President: Increased to US$400,000 on Jan. 20, 2001, with US$50,000 expenses
    Vice President: US$202,900
    Cabinet Secretaries: US$157,000

    United Kingdom
    Prime Minister: US$170,556
    Ministers: US$146,299

    Australia
    Prime Minister: US$137,060
    Deputy Prime Minister: US$111,439
    Treasurer: US$102,682

    Source: Asian Wall Street Journal July 10 2000.
    Singapore President's salary which was updated in 2005 from the Singapore Straits Times.

    ---end---

    In the other site, discussion on
    http://forums.vr-zone.com/showthread...ghlight=salary

    Bring this up again.

    It's always what they do with the money, and with PMS-like regularity and spectacular ways they manage to "lose" money in foreign projects/countries.

    If I did not know that SG is a corrupt-free country, people may think they actually are using such excuses to pay people/country off in-return for sand/water/satellites...... or worse .. themselves!

    We all know better... all the people in politics are in it becos they want to serve, the $$$$ we stuff into their pockets is not their fault!
    Actually, a fair number of people ARE talking about the extra $40.

    Sorry, I disagree. Whether we overpay our ministers or not is a matter of opinion. Despite their extraordinarily high incomes, as compared to other countries, the truth of it is that the total quantum is very small. Say we are talking about 20 ministers/MOS/ofiice holders, earning an average $2 million a year. What is the grand total? $40 million a year? For a team to run a country? I think its a bargain. Some companies have CEOs that earn 3 times that. They hardly need to raise GST to support $40 million.

    As for losses, I'm sure they have made some major mis-steps, but I believe their overall track record has been good, otherwise how did we accumulate FOREX reserves that puts us in the top 6 or 7 in the world, and one of the highest when taken per capita?

    No, I'm not being naive, politics is politics, and politicians are politicians. But as politicians go, would you trade ours for any other in the world? The US? Asean neighbours? China? France? PM Lee has said so himself, politics is about power and control, but insofar as it relates to setting policy and direction.
    Last edited by dkw; 14th November 2006 at 04:21 PM.

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    An indeed it is. However, one needs to look at the taxation package in its entirety and do a little benchmarking.
    For the lower income who pays no income tax in 2003, his gst burden just increased from 3% to 7%. That is the taxation package in its entirety, an increase of 4%.

    Benchmark against who,what? Ethopia, Australia or Malaysia?

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dawgbyte77 View Post
    Not really sure about the mechanics and equality on benchmarking so I will just agree on that.

    2003 = 3%, 2004 = 4%, 2005 = 5%... 2007 = 7%... this means year 2012 is when we will reach NZ standard. Hmm... odd that 2006 was sort of skipped.
    When was the general elections?
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  15. #15

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    Sorry, I disagree. Whether we overpay our ministers or not is a matter of opinion. Despite their extraordinarily high incomes, as compared to other countries, the truth of it is that the total quantum is very small. Say we are talking about 20 ministers/MOS/ofiice holders, earning an average $2 million a year. What is the grand total? $40 million a year? For a team to run a country? I think its a bargain. Some companies have CEOs that earn 3 times that. They hardly need to raise GST to support $40 million.
    Errr forgive me for a blonde moment (I think too much chemical used on my head liao) how big is Singapore huh?

  16. #16

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post

    No, I'm not being naive, politics is politics, and politicians are politicians. But as politicians go, would you trade ours for any other in the world? The US? Asean neighbours? China? France?
    Frankly I would not have traded SM Lee during the 70s and 80s for any other politician in the world. BUT I don't think SM Lee's pay was so high during those periods.

    As for our current politicians.... hard to say.

    but talk is cheap. I dunno why everywhere I see People complain about *** and yet every election *** win with OVERWHELMING majority...
    Last edited by wind30; 14th November 2006 at 04:30 PM.

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by CTN View Post
    For the lower income who pays no income tax in 2003, his gst burden just increased from 3% to 7%. That is the taxation package in its entirety, an increase of 4%.

    Benchmark against who,what? Ethopia, Australia or Malaysia?
    Do you not see the irony? We are actually complaining about a 4% rise for folk who pay NO INCOME TAX! Do you know how many S'poreans fall into that category? A lot! More than most developed countries. Its like someone complaining that he has to pay for batteries for a free camera given to him. Have you considered that if the GST does not go up, soon, some of those presently NOT paying income tax MAY have to start doing so?

  18. #18

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    there are people getting handouts who somehow have enough money to own a mobile phone and spend lots of money on it
    there are people getting handouts who have large television sets
    I'm sure there are some really poor people out there who need help, there are also alot of poor people out there who are poor because they seem to think the necessities to live include mobile phones.
    Alot of responsibilities related to social work has been handed down to charities and NGOs to deal with, and then the government uses the reasoning of "social safety nets" to raise a tax?

    and I don't think that people are bitching and wailing too much. if you look at other countries, a slight raise of tax will bring out howls for blood. I think howls for blood and explanation are good, to hold our government accountable to the people. Well let's wail more effectively

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by Nisa View Post
    Errr forgive me for a blonde moment (I think too much chemical used on my head liao) how big is Singapore huh?
    4 million inhabitants, or $10 dollars a person/yr. That's less than $1 a month.....

  20. #20
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    And Singaporean must be happy with the increase because no one protest outside parliament buidling

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