Questioning Whether Government Expenditure Can Be Cut Before Decision to Raise Taxes

This speech was part of the Budget 2022 Committee of Supply Debate, and delivered on 8 March 2022.

Before we raise taxes, we should consider whether there are expenditures we can cut.  However, it is not easy to understand the expenditures in the Budget.  Hence I have the following questions.

Can the Minister present the Covid-19 $100 billion spending in the same format as the budget, with detailed breakdown by spending category and ministry?

Where is the $5 billion annual spending on R&D reflected in the budget? Where and how is the allocation approved?

Explain how the SINGA loans and investments are being treated in the Budget and the Government’s Statement of Assets and Liabilities. What does the $2.4 billion recorded as capitalization of nationally-significant infrastructure for FY2022 mean?

And finally on revenues,

Can the Minister confirm that the Government has reported total financial assets of $1.4 trillion at 31 March 2021.   That MAS has accumulated close to $200 billion of new reserves in the last two years. And all these financial assets are producing more than $40 billion in Net Investment Return per year.

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