Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat will deliver Budget 2018 tomorrow. Even as political analysts predict that taxes will almost certainly go up this year, four civil society players gathered last week to discuss their beliefs on what the nation’s economic direction should be for the next year, at the Budget 2018 forum organised by The Independent and Maruah.
Human rights NGO Maruah president Leong Sze Hian said that he does not expect the budget or the economic goals and approaches of the government to change much from previous years. In fact, he expects the cost of living for “ordinary, lower-income folks” to go up.
Discussing the annual budget surplus, jobs for locals, wages earned by lower-income workers and in-work poverty from a unique perspective as a statistician, Leong pronounced:
“You have been robbed, dear Singaporeans.”
Former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian felt that the government should be focused on improving the welfare of the people.
In order to improve the people’s quality of life, the government must reduce the Goods and Services Tax (GST) instead of raising it. Tan advocated that the government scrap the GST altogether as he feels the government can afford to do without this tax, in the interest of improving the quality of Singaporeans’ lives and help alleviate some of their stress:
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