S’pore govt said it was not planning to raise GST after 2015 General Election

This was written in black and white on Factually, a gov.sg website.

Belmont Lay | November 20, 2017 @ 06:29 pm

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hinted that taxes are going to be raised.

He said the government will explain to Singaporeans what the money collected from an increase in taxes is needed for and show how it will benefit the young and old “well before the time comes” to raise taxes.

He made these remarks at the People’s Action Party (PAP) convention on Sunday, Nov. 19.

Increase in social spending

However, PM Lee did not mention when or the type of taxes that would be raised, just that it is an inevitability to be looked into next year.

This was so as the government is set to incur higher costs on social services and safety nets, including healthcare, in the future.

And he referred to Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat’s comments during his Budget speech this February.

PM Lee said Minister Heng was right in saying that it was a matter of time when taxes need to be increased to fund the growing spending needs.

While there is enough revenue for this current term of government, its spending has been going up, and it must rise further, PM Lee noted.

Government said in 2015 no plans to raise GST

In August 2015, about a month before the General Election that year, the government debunked online rumours that GST will be raised in the near future.

The government said then that this was inconsistent with what Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam stated.

DPM Tharman said in early 2015 that the revenue measures the government had already undertaken will provide sufficiently for the increased spending planned for the rest of this decade.

This is the full post taken from Factually, a gov.sg website, debunking suggestions that GST will increase soon:

Is the Government planning to raise the GST after the next General Elections?

There is no basis to these claims, and they are inconsistent with what the Government has recently stated.

06 Aug 2015

There have been claims on some online websites that the Government will raise the GST after the forthcoming General Elections to fund increased spending planned in the next term of government. There is no basis to these claims, and they are inconsistent with what the Government has recently stated.

In the 2015 Budget Statement in February, DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam stated that the revenue measures the Government had already undertaken will provide sufficiently for the increased spending planned for the rest of this decade 1.

Budget 2015 introduced important revenue measures such as the inclusion of Temasek in the Government’s Net Investment Returns (NIR) framework from 2016 onward2, and the increase in the top marginal rates for personal income tax from Year of Assessment 2017. These measures came after moves in recent years to make Singapore’s property tax rates more progressive, with significantly increased tax rates for high value residential properties, offsetting reduced tax rates for lower value homes.

In rounding up the 2015 Budget Debate, DPM Tharman stated, “We have prepared ourselves in advance and that must remain the way in which we plan for our budgets in the decades to come. With the change to incorporate Temasek in the NIR framework and the other tax changes I have introduced, in particular the increase in the personal income tax rate, we will be in a good position for at least the rest of this decade.”3

The Government’s approach remains that of responding to changing circumstances and planning revenue measures in advance of Singapore’s future needs. Through this forward-looking approach, we have been able to meet the growing needs of our people in healthcare and invest in our future, while preserving fiscal sustainability and Singapore’s Triple-A credit rating.

1 The Statement for Budget 2015, delivered by DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, said, “Based on current projections, the revenue measures we have undertaken will provide sufficiently for the increased spending needs we have planned for till the end of this decade.” (Refer to paragraph G38 of the Budget Speech)

2 In July 2015, the Singapore Parliament approved amendments to the Constitution to effect the inclusion of Temasek Holding in the Net Investment Returns framework.

3 The Hansard record of DPM Tharman’s Round-Up Speech for Budget 2015 is at http://sprs.parl.gov.sg/search/topic.jsp?currentTopicID=00007428-WA&currentPubID=00007404-WA&topicKey=00007404-WA.00007428-WA_3%2Bbudget%2B

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