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Thread: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

  1. #101
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    I was just speaking to a Dane today. In Denmark, he paid 72% (yes, you read correctly, seventy two) income tax last year, and they are paying other taxes like car taxes, GST, and lots of other weird taxes that their government can think of.

    But then, if he becomes unemployeed, his government gives him around SGD$5-6K a month (note, that's SGD5000 - 6000, not SGD500-600)
    His education is free
    His medical is free
    When he retires, he gets a pension from the government, so he is taken care of for life

    So, should we pay more taxes or less taxes?
    Last edited by clicknick; 15th November 2006 at 05:20 PM.

  2. #102
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by clicknick View Post
    I was just speaking to a Dane today. In Denmark, he paid 72% (yes, you read correctly, seventy two) income tax last year, and they are paying other taxes like car taxes, GST, and lots of other weird taxes that their government can think of.

    But then, if he becomes unemployeed, his government gives him around SGD$5-6K a month (note, that's SGD5000 - 6000, not SGD500-600)
    His education is free
    His medical is free
    When he retires, he gets a pension from the government, so he is taken care of for life

    So, should we pay more taxes or less taxes?
    Pay taxes so others can skive off those who pay those taxes??

    Go ahead... I'll claim unemployment.
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  3. #103
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by clicknick View Post
    I was just speaking to a Dane today. In Denmark, he paid 72% (yes, you read correctly, seventy two) income tax last year, and they are paying other taxes like car taxes, GST, and lots of other weird taxes that their government can think of.

    But then, if he becomes unemployeed, his government gives him around SGD$5-6K a month (note, that's SGD5000 - 6000, not SGD500-600)
    His education is free
    His medical is free
    When he retires, he gets a pension from the government, so he is taken care of for life

    So, should we pay more taxes or less taxes?
    IMO, severe moral hazard at play. This kind of situation can very easily de-stabilise if people take advantage. And knowing Singaporeans.......

    Obviously, one needs to look at the quantum. As far as absolute levels go, we've got a way to go to get to Nordic heights of taxation. However, I think what PM Lee is saying is that we've got a little flex, and there are definitely poor out there who can do with some help. So, lets inch our way a little towards a more inclusive society and lets spend a little to take some of the harshness out of being poor.
    Last edited by dkw; 15th November 2006 at 05:39 PM.

  4. #104

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    Some interesting and valid points, though I disagree on many. I'll get back to you when I have a little more time this evening.
    No problem, take your time. I am interested in what you have got to say.
    You do make valid points, do not let those negative personal remarks affect you.

  5. #105

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    I agree that the petty politicking is really infantile, and I hate it myself. They deserve to continue being excluded from PP and Hougang, and more! However, it does not mean that if someone agrees or supports a g'ment position, that he has stopped thinking for himself. I hope that I have convinced of that, at the very least.

    Furthermore, I also disagree that you are not allowed to question the g'ment. You absolutely have the right and IT IS YOUR DUTY to ensure that as a citizen, you play an active role in shaping policies. There are many opportunities to do so, and I have occasionally partaken in some of them. BUT, do so INTELLIGENTLY! Do your homework and understand the issues. If you fail to do so, you will get run out of town by the elite, and.....gasp, sometimes if folk sat back andd reflected a little before going off on a tilt, they might actually come to the conclusion that the g'ment was right after all!

    Do your civic duty. Protect the poor and vulnerable. Pay your taxes. Understand the issues. Hold your leaders accountable. Do it.
    The problem is since when can we question....... When we question, we are labelled subversives.... when we question we must give solutions, how do we give solutions when we are never given the facts and when we give solutions, we are told "dont talk so much... we know best, afterall we are the elite"

    Accountable?? Hmmm from last I know no leader of ours has had to answer for their actions. Anything go wrong and the famous line "Let's move on" appears. The NKF incident? If I dont remember wrongly the health ministry stood behind NKF and Durai for years always defending them when there were accusations flung at them. And of course the peanut incident.... the anger is not about the peanut statement but the fact that certain higher ups feel that no big deal a CEO of a charity organisation is getting tons of money as pay. Last I remember a huge percent of NKF's charity earnings went to the CEO and his marketing team's pay if I am not wrong. Till today.... no one except an lady that popped out of nowhere has been charged.... sigh............



    And then you do things like the Buangkok Mrt Elephants, you get "complains" from "concerned residents" and the police pay you a visit......

  6. #106
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Pay taxes so others can skive off those who pay those taxes??

    Go ahead... I'll claim unemployment.
    Quote Originally Posted by dkw View Post
    IMO, severe moral hazard at play. This kind of situation can very easily de-stabilise if people take advantage. And knowing Singaporeans.......
    Yep, exactly whats happening there now, according to this guy.

    Low income earners like carpenters make maybe SGD7-8K a month, so they rather don't work and take $5-6K. It encourages people not to work actually.

  7. #107

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by centuryegg View Post

    However the point is have anyone ever thought about things like why are there so much behind the scenes? why as citizens we must just accept and cannot question? Why when we question, we are regarded as questioning the "elite".

    Do you remember Animal Farm? (Two legs bahhhh! Four legs goodddd!)
    The Pigs were spotted walking on two legs. ( Pegged themselves to the top 10%)
    The Pigs becomes more equal than the rest of the animals.
    Unrest sat in, the animals started to question and gossips making its round.
    The Pigs sent the hungry dogs to terrorise the animals and quell the unrest.
    I forgot which animal was torn into pieces by the dogs. I think it is one of the fellow pigs (Also a Politician, but from the opposite camp)


    Quote Originally Posted by centuryegg View Post
    The GST increase is just but one. Today the papers said that in parliament the ministers said to opposition MPs that they are NAIVE to think that they will get upgrading now that they have won. Reasoning?? Since you voted against the govt and its policies so why should we upgrade for you?

    The thing is do they up there in the top really realise by now why they lost Potong Pasir all these years?? Despite all the abalone porridge, they still lose? Reasoning very simple.... we are all Singaporeans whether we are Chinese, Malay or Indian, Scholar or Grad, Grad or non Grad, father hawker or MP and whether we stay in Marine Parade or Potong Pasir.... but now it seems that only if your father is a member or friend of the party, you are a party supporter then are you a good Singaporean. If not... sorry hor.. no goodies for you... cos you disloyal brats.... The government might not think that way but the way it is doing things.. well people are certaintely thinking that way. And as I quote an middle aged lady I know, "well if the govt dont realise by now why they lose Potong Pasir, next round lose again lor"
    An old man says the Chinese in our neighboring country are marginalised.
    And I am very surprise, why didnít Abdullah tell him that citizens in Potong Pasir and Hougang are also marginalised.

    All my respect goes to the residents of Potong Pasir and Hougang. Thank you for sending two oppositions into the parliament at your expense.

  8. #108
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by clicknick View Post
    I was just speaking to a Dane today. In Denmark, he paid 72% (yes, you read correctly, seventy two) income tax last year, and they are paying other taxes like car taxes, GST, and lots of other weird taxes that their government can think of.

    But then, if he becomes unemployeed, his government gives him around SGD$5-6K a month (note, that's SGD5000 - 6000, not SGD500-600)
    His education is free
    His medical is free
    When he retires, he gets a pension from the government, so he is taken care of for life

    So, should we pay more taxes or less taxes?
    In Singapore, we pay 10-20% income tax, assuming you are a relatively well-off profesional like the Dane. We also pay weird taxes like GST , COE, overpriced services from our monopolistic GLCs, plus indirect taxation like national service (cheap labour for 2-2.5 years) and CPF (funds lockup at below market rate returns)

    When S'porean goes to university, govt increase fess every other year while giving free scholarships to China, India kids.
    When S'porean is unemployed, govt says don't depend on them.
    When S'porean sick, govt rips him off by provided overpriced medical services at a profit.
    When S'porean retires, govt cut off his water and power supplies when he cannot afford to pay.

    I still don't know if we should pay more taxes.

  9. #109
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    Does it really hurt?

    Den cut down on spending. Sell ur gear if u need to. Sell ya car. Downgrade to a normal flat.
    If u're still schooling, ask for less/no allowances and start working part-time to support ur own hobbies & purchases.
    Yes it will! Perhaps not immediately but it will most certainly lead to a cumulative round of knock-on increases in the cost of many goods and services. You may not know it but there are many, many people living from hand to mouth in Singapore and whatever concessions or aid package provided will never be enough to help them weather yet another round of price increases. Your simplistic advice to cut down on spending doesn't hold water when people don't see their disposable incomes increase and are already not spending on luxury items.

  10. #110
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by creampuff View Post
    Yes it will! Perhaps not immediately but it will most certainly lead to a cumulative round of knock-on increases in the cost of many goods and services. You may not know it but there are many, many people living from hand to mouth in Singapore and whatever concessions or aid package provided will never be enough to help them weather yet another round of price increases. Your simplistic advice to cut down on spending doesn't hold water when people don't see their disposable incomes increase and are already not spending on luxury items.
    I see another situation actually.

    People are doing all the BBB, gadgets, top-end lenses, top-end flashes, etc. Those kind of shopping transactions that swipe cards and ringing registry & goods with their prices in the top hundred, bottom thousand range of goods.

    When taxes are announced, instead of seeing a slight/major drop in consumer expenditure, the statistics based on data collected on consumer spending show otherwise - it goes UP.

    Based on such conflicting data and caught in a position where they cannot macro-manage the people (or get manpower stretched really thin) and looking at hardcore data that shows a strange situation of lotsa ppl actually spending more.

    Assuming if u're in the Finance Ministry in-charge of tabulating such data (which I doubt anyone here is doing) and seeing strange surreal figures that reach ur hand vs what u see when u do volunteer work. What's ur pick on?
    "Wonders of the Human Mind. Unfathomable to the highest degree."

  11. #111

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    I see another situation actually.

    People are doing all the BBB, gadgets, top-end lenses, top-end flashes, etc. Those kind of shopping transactions that swipe cards and ringing registry & goods with their prices in the top hundred, bottom thousand range of goods.

    When taxes are announced, instead of seeing a slight/major drop in consumer expenditure, the statistics based on data collected on consumer spending show otherwise - it goes UP.

    Based on such conflicting data and caught in a position where they cannot macro-manage the people (or get manpower stretched really thin) and looking at hardcore data that shows a strange situation of lotsa ppl actually spending more.

    Assuming if u're in the Finance Ministry in-charge of tabulating such data (which I doubt anyone here is doing) and seeing strange surreal figures that reach ur hand vs what u see when u do volunteer work. What's ur pick on?
    i see. so the people in this forum are representative of the whole population, including those who earn $700 but have to send 4 kids to school, can't even afford to buy camera to capture family photo, plus care for ageing parents. thank you for your insight.

  12. #112

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Even China, which is not "1st World" country, is able to implement a consumption tax which makes essential goods affordable for ordinary Chinese, while jacking up the cost of luxury items, while Singapore, which is a "1st World" country many many times smaller than China (and less herculean in implementation and administration of such policies), is not able to implement a variable consumption tax, instead imposing a blanket consumption tax on all goods and services.

    So ask yourself again, why is it that for matters of "security" (the fight against terrorism), and other boasting statistics that our government throws out now and then, our government says that because we are a small country, very nimble, able to do things bigger countries cannot, while for tax and corporate governance of major charity bodies etc we are so clumsy and not able to do things bigger countries can?

    This GST hike and "comprehensive offset package", to make a crude analogy, it's like stabbing someone with a knife, then saying "Sorry that you are bleeding from being stabbed with a knife, here is a handyplast to stop the bleeding."

  13. #113
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by reminisce View Post
    i see. so the people in this forum are representative of the whole population, including those who earn $700 but have to send 4 kids to school, can't even afford to buy camera to capture family photo, plus care for ageing parents. thank you for your insight.
    I think what jsbn meant was that the representative of the whole population is based on numbers. If raising tax results to a higher tax revenue, then whoever made this policy can say that its okay and therefore, he can proceed to plan the annual tax increase for 2008.

    I read from the newspaper that while the lower income group you have mentioned in your example will have a help package, how extensive it is will only be known next year. The rich will probably spend 20% of their salary with GST (maybe the rest of the money is on savings, investments or something) while the middle income group will probably spend 70% of their salary with GST (because they are just making ends meet). So this will really hit the middle income group the hardest (as compared to other group). And its not fair to think its a 2% increase, but should be seen as a whole of 4% in 4 years increase. And honestly I can see the impact this will have on couples having children if the increase is constantly.. increasing.

    10 years ago, handphones and computers are a luxury but now it can be deemed as a necessity. So a notebook or a TV or a camera may seem luxury to an outsider but it has already became a necessity to the owner and I think its hard to swallow that this someone have to give up things he is so used to, and worked hard for, to become technically poorer because of a policy change. (I know I'm exaggerating here and I know 7% is really not THAT bad but for the sake of argument... hehe).

    And lastly, if the GST is aimed for "those who earn $700 but have to send 4 kids to school, can't even afford to buy camera to capture family photo, plus care for ageing parents". Then, why are "those" and their "aging parent" still have to worry as if they are in dire straits? How exactly does GST fit into this picture? I hope its not like the classic "financial advice"... "Give me your money now and when you are dead, I give it back to you".

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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by reminisce View Post
    i see. so the people in this forum are representative of the whole population, including those who earn $700 but have to send 4 kids to school, can't even afford to buy camera to capture family photo, plus care for ageing parents. thank you for your insight.
    Thanks for the insight that u gave me as well.
    "Wonders of the Human Mind. Unfathomable to the highest degree."

  15. #115
    vince123123
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    I think what you should add to round up this picture is what is your friend's salary per month. If their salary is very high compared to their expenditures, 28% of a big number is still sufficient.

    Percentages are meaningless until they are related to absolute figures.

    Quote Originally Posted by clicknick View Post
    I was just speaking to a Dane today. In Denmark, he paid 72% (yes, you read correctly, seventy two) income tax last year, and they are paying other taxes like car taxes, GST, and lots of other weird taxes that their government can think of.

    But then, if he becomes unemployeed, his government gives him around SGD$5-6K a month (note, that's SGD5000 - 6000, not SGD500-600)
    His education is free
    His medical is free
    When he retires, he gets a pension from the government, so he is taken care of for life

    So, should we pay more taxes or less taxes?

  16. #116
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by jsbn View Post
    I see another situation actually.

    People are doing all the BBB, gadgets, top-end lenses, top-end flashes, etc. Those kind of shopping transactions that swipe cards and ringing registry & goods with their prices in the top hundred, bottom thousand range of goods.

    When taxes are announced, instead of seeing a slight/major drop in consumer expenditure, the statistics based on data collected on consumer spending show otherwise - it goes UP.

    Based on such conflicting data and caught in a position where they cannot macro-manage the people (or get manpower stretched really thin) and looking at hardcore data that shows a strange situation of lotsa ppl actually spending more.

    Assuming if u're in the Finance Ministry in-charge of tabulating such data (which I doubt anyone here is doing) and seeing strange surreal figures that reach ur hand vs what u see when u do volunteer work. What's ur pick on?
    What is so strange about consumer expenditure going up? So easy to explain.
    As to be expected, in anticipation of a consumption tax increase, there will likely be a flurry of last minute buying to avoid higher prices when the tax kicks in. This spike in spending is to be expected, particularly in luxury and big ticket items or in the context of this forum, photo equipment. But how long can this "preemptive spending" last? Many Singaporeans have some form of debt, they don't need to be mortgaged to their eyeballs like the average consumer in the US.

    Moreover when it comes to essential items and on services, there is a limit to how much one can stock up or pay in advance to avoid the tax hike. So with a tax like this, you can run (by buying now), but you can't hide from it forever.

    You may not know it but there are are plenty of people who barely get by and have little savings because they don't earn much. In fact I know a very good graphic artist who actually had to sell his bike (his daily mode of transport) because he had to raise some money for his baby daughter. He's such a good photographer in product shots yet he can't afford to even own a camera and has to borrow a camera to take pictures of his family.
    The problem is that there is a disconnect between the broad overall policies of the people who make policy and the actual life situations of many people who struggle (and largely unheard in society) in this increasingly expensive city.

  17. #117
    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    This being a consumption tax, I would like to see first an introduction of real competition in Power Supply, Telecommunications services, Transportation etc.. etc..

    These are the types of things that hurt the lower income, what are they thinking? increasing GST will ultimately hurt the lower income more as they make use of these services like everyone elses.

    Paying extra 2% for someone with a high disposable income is no issue, imagine if you take a meagre sum and GST goes up, sure the package would help for a while but then what? so far the spin on GST increase looks nice but the substance is what we will need to see.

    ../azul123

  18. #118

    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    The ones making the policy earn millions, they dont need to worry about their next meal and when they retire, they are made for life and so are their children.

    They always say they will set aside packages to help but have they been ever without conditions? End of the day it is what the government wants you to be that determines if you should get the grant. For example now they dont want the lower income and educated to have too many kids and we all and for those who dont know, certian individuals in our party feel that graduates should marry only graduates so that their children will be smart. Those who are not graduates should know their place in society and not come tarnish the elite blood pool by trying to marry in. That is why you have SDU and SDA one for grads and one for non grads. Opposition wards get no upgrading co they dont vote for party... since when did that make u second class?

    End of the day if hypnotically speaking we get invaded by another country, can one who stays in Potong Pasir say.. "oh you party supporters go fight lor... we dont bother... why? cos it is invasion of Singapore but I not Singaporean mah.. I treated like 2nd class citizen. In peace time, we are treated like 2nd class now got war why should we fight side by side with you?"

    Like in the states, Democrat or Republician, when they go to war, they fight as American. But here it's loyalty to party means loyalty to country which is so incorrect....

  19. #119
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123 View Post
    I think what you should add to round up this picture is what is your friend's salary per month. If their salary is very high compared to their expenditures, 28% of a big number is still sufficient.

    Percentages are meaningless until they are related to absolute figures.
    Hmm, sorry, no figures, he's just an IT engineer in an IT company and he doesn't earn millions a year or drive around in an italian sports car, so maybe this will help us gauge if he is a big money earner or not, even by Danish standards.

  20. #120
    vince123123
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    Default Re: I Want Higher Taxes, Really!

    In that case, those who viewed your information would have to take that into account - he may not be a millionaire, but if his take home pay and spending power in the end is still more than a person of like class in Singapore, having a high income tax rate makes no difference.

    Quote Originally Posted by clicknick View Post
    Hmm, sorry, no figures, he's just an IT engineer in an IT company and he doesn't earn millions a year or drive around in an italian sports car, so maybe this will help us gauge if he is a big money earner or not, even by Danish standards.

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