Chief of unregistered party People’s Voice, and former National Solidarity Party chief Lim Tean took to Facebook yesterday to call out Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat after Singapore ranked in the bottom ten in an Oxfam index of 157 countries based on efforts to tackle the gap between the rich and poor.
The Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) Index 2018 was released by the global developmental charity agency on Tuesday (Oct 9).
The report released by Oxfam said that Singapore had a number of harmful tax practices, and that Singapore “has increased its personal income tax (PIT) by 2 per cent, but the maximum rate remains very low at 22 per cent for the highest earners”. The agency also added that Singapore was among the countries that registered “some of the biggest decreases” in spending on education.
In his Facebook post, Mr Lim called out Mr Heng and said, “On 5 December 2017, Heng Swee Keat said at the Straits Times Global Outlook Forum 2018 that “Our overall system of taxes and transfers must remain fair and progressive.” ”
He continued adding that such announcements made were not followed through in practice.
Mr Lim also said, “Alas, ordinary Singaporeans have not been getting even the crumbs below the table from the rich and powerful! Instead, they are being taxed mercilessly to subsidize the rich”.
“I always advise my friends that the only words of Heng Swee Keat worth remembering are those he uttered in the 2017 Budget Speech where he said that the government will have to find new ways to tax in order to raise revenue in the coming years”, Mr Lim wrote.
To conclude his post, Mr Lim said, “If you remember those words of Mr Heng, you will have a foreboding Of the kind of dark future in store for ordinary Singaporeans”.
Many who commented on Mr Lim’s post agreed with him.