Debate with DPM Heng over need to Borrow Funds

This speech was delivered on 14 May 2021.

Mr Leong Mun Wai: Mr Speaker, thank you. I have four questions to clarify for the Deputy Prime Minister.

I am very perturbed by his saying that I am not contributing to this Parliament. I do not take umbrage because I aim to be a gentleman, but I am seriously perturbed. I think what I am trying to do here is to complete the picture. I think maybe because of the various commitment of Government, some of the information that is coming out of this Parliament is not complete. Let me ask four questions to complete the picture.

One, I will ask the Deputy Prime Minister: do you agree that this year, fiscal resources amount to $128 billion. We do not care how you classify that resources into revenue, but you have $128 billion; $39 billion of NIRC; $12 billion of land sales and $77 billion of taxes.

Two, while you refused to announce the accurate figure for the reserves, the Government publishes Government financial statements every year; and as of March 2020, the total financial assets reported on the financial statement was $1.35 trillion. Please confirm that.

Three, you provided some figures to say that middle class Singaporeans are getting more from the Government than the taxes they pay. One question I want to ask you is: why do you not go to our constituency and tell the constituents, “Please pay more taxes; you will get more from the Government.” Have you taken into consideration all the indirect taxes when you presented your conclusion?

And fourth, for the expenditures that the Government is trying to incur, are you prepared to give a 20-year forecast of all the expenditures that are going to come? It is a very serious matter, you know. If we have that much resources, we almost have 7% to 8% of our GDP, including when you take into consideration the land sales and the NIR we have. Every year, we have about 7% to 8% of our GDP in this sort of resources. And you tell me that going forward, our expenditures will still be more than this. Then, we have to look at our expenditures very carefully. Those are the four questions, Deputy Prime Minster, please.

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