By: Leong Sze Hian
I refer to the World Economic Forum’s ‘The Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017‘ Report for Singapore. The Report said that Singapore did not receive an overall rank because of missing data but that the average scores put it around eighth place.
Singapore scored near the bottom in three areas: access to education and skills, how concentrated wealth is, and social welfare. In this regard, I understand that Singapore’s welfare spending as a percentage of GDP or total government spending is one of the lowest in the world.
But some of Singapore’s rankings may actually be worse. For example, Singapore’s ranking for Social Protection is 29 out of the 30 countries that make up the advanced economies in the world.
Very low welfare spending?
In this regard, I understand that Singapore’s welfare spending as a percentage of GDP or total government spending is one of the lowest in the world.
Education & Skills – Access: 25 out of 30 countries
For Education and Skills – Access – we are ranked 25 out of the 30.
High % of non-S’poreans in public universities?
I this connection, I understand that the estimated percentage of non-Singaporeans students in the public universities may be over 35 per cent – which may be one of the highest in the world for public universities.
High public spending on non-S’porean students?
Also, I understand that public spending on non-Singaporean students at all levels in the educational institutions, by way of scholarships, tuition grants, etc, may be about $400 million a year.
Fiscal Transfers: 22 out of 30 countries
For Fiscal Transfers – we are ranked at 22.
Highest cash Budget surplus per capita in the world?
In this connection, I understand that our average annual cash Budget surplus (under IMF fiscal reporting guidelines) of about $20 billion a year, may be the highest in the world on a per capita basis.
Corruption and Rents – Concentration of Rents: 22 out of 30 countries
For Corruption and Rents – Concentration of Rents – we are ranked at 22.
Becoming a rentier society?
Using yardsticks like the gini coefficient, competitiveness of local markets, and whether there is a banking monopoly, the Report showed that Singapore was lagging behind in a category that measures how far a country is from becoming a rentier society. In this area, Singapore ranked 22nd out of the 30 advanced economies.
2nd highest Gini?
In this connection, I understand that Singapore’s Gini is the second highest among developed and developing countries.
4th in the Crony-capitalism Index
We are also ranked as number four in the world, in the Crony-capitalism Index (The Economist).