28 August 2012

Raising Future Tax Revenue from Personal Income Tax not GST

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said last Sunday (26 August 2012) that as spending on social services increases, taxes would have to go up sooner or later within the next 20 years.

When Channel News Asia interviewed some tax practitioners, their response was that there was scope for the Goods and Services Tax rate to be increased or some other tax e.g., carbon tax to be introduced.

26 August 2012

Local R&D — Are We Getting Adequate Return on Investment?

Member of Parliament Lim Wee Kiak recently asked the Prime Minister in Parliament (a) whether the National Research Foundation had achieved its objectives; (b) the number of patents filed in Singapore; and (c) the measures that would be implemented to increase Singapore's creativity and knowledge-based output.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (on behalf of the Prime Minister) gave the following reply (in bold italics).

R&D efforts in Singapore have resulted in about 1,500 to 2000 patents being filed worldwide every year.

Firstly, Dr Lim could easily have found this answer in Economic Survey of Singapore 2011.

Secondly, the better question to ask is: what have been the number of patents awarded?

15 August 2012

How Proud Are Singaporeans of Singapore's Olympic Achievements?

Feng Tianwei, representing Singapore, won a bronze medal in the women's singles at the 2012 Olympics.

Ms Feng and two other China-born members of the women's table-tennis team later won the bronze medal.

Many Singaporeans are happy that the team won two bronze medals, just as fans of Manchester City FC were happy that the team won the Barclays Premier League title last season.

But, are Singaporeans proud of their achievements?

09 August 2012

Singapore Wins Two Olympic Medals But Do Citizens Care?

Many people in many countries would be delighted when one of their people wins an Olympic medal.

But when Feng Tianwei won a bronze medal in table tennis at the 2012 London Olympics, many Singaporeans reacted with indifference or negativity.

According to a poll by Yahoo! Sports, 77 per cent of the 17,227 respondents polled over three days said they would not be proud if a foreign import won an Olympic medal for Singapore.  It is not clear if the respondents had in mind Singapore's table tennis teams, which were almost entirely made up of China-born athletes, but they were the only athletes representing Singapore with any real chance of winning any medals.


After all, if winning an Olympic medal is sports excellence, it should strengthen national pride — a desired outcome of Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports.

02 August 2012

Low Wage Vocations in Singapore 2011

It has been estimated that there are about 400,000 workers in Singapore who earn $1,000 or less a month.

What are some of the low wage vocations?

The following table shows the common vocations with gross monthly wages of $1,300 and lower as at June 2010 and June 2011.