Highest Budget surplus ever ($12b?): Increase taxes?

Will taxes be raised if the Budget surplus was the highest ever in our history?

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By Leong Sze Hian

I refer to the article “Spending on security to be ‘very major’ Budget item” (Straits Times, Feb 4).

It states that “”I do expect our security expenditure to go up because we want to be able to support our security agencies in this very important mission to keep Singapore safe and secure,” he said.

He also expects spending to continue to rise for the next 10 years.

In 2016, the Home Affairs, Defence and Foreign Affairs ministries spent $19.5 billion – slightly more than a quarter of the national Budget – on security. This was a 32 per cent rise from the $14.8 billion spent in 2011.”

According to the article “Heng Swee Keat has spoken at the Singapore Perspectives conference more than other ministers” (Mothership, Jan 22) – “and you’ll notice that of the three most talked about candidates, Heng has been invited to speak at an SP panel three times, which is more than any other Minister.

Heng’s profile has been on the rise recently. In Nov. 2017, he delivered a speech in Beijing.

And in Dec. 2017, a top business magazine in China published a rare extensive interview with Heng.

But for those of you who keep a close eye on local politics, it could provide us with a tantalising clue as to which way the wind is blowing.”

At the conference – the Finance Minister showed charts which stated “Major revenue – FY2016 Revised: $83 Billion” “Social spending now forms largest share – FY2016 Revised $71 Billion”.

So, does it mean that the Budget surplus for FY2016 Revised was $12 billion ($83 – $71 billion)?

Is this the largest Budget surplus ever in the history of Singapore?

And the widespread expectation is that taxes may be increased when the Budget is delivered in Parliament on 19 February?