In response to criticisms that the multi-billion Merdeka Generation Package is a vote-buying election carrot, Trade Minister Chan Chun Sing denied so by claiming that his government does not need the GST increase to fund the medical assistance spending.
Speaking at a Chinese New Year dinner at his constituency at Tanjong Pagar, the former army general said his government has “already set aside funds” for the scheme:
“There were concerns from young people on how the Government will fund the Merdeka Generation Package, with some labelling it an election gimmick. Funds will be set aside by this term of government and that money for the multibillion-dollar scheme will not come from a future hike in the goods and services tax (GST).”
The S$1.1 million-a-year PAP Minister who was earmarked to be the next Deputy Prime Minister then started waxing lyrical about government spending and responsibility:
“Every term of government has to make sure it earns its keep, and in the first two to three years, it works very hard to carefully manage the Budget and grow the economy. Because the rule in the Singapore system is that no government can make – or should make – empty promises on behalf of a future government. If we decide to have the Merdeka Generation Package… then it is the responsibility of this term of government to harness its resources to put them into a fund, to make sure that this burden is not passed on to the next government or future governments. Revenue from the two-point GST increase – to take place some time between 2021 and 2025 – is not funding the package.”
Minister Chan Chun Sing however failed to mention what is the GST increase funding, if it is not for medical needs for the people.
The Singapore dictatorship is currently overstretching its finance on mega projects like the Terminal 5 and Tuas Mega Port. In May 2018, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat admitted that the Singapore government is in debt and it has to resort to borrowing from state-owned companies and statutory boards to funds its mega projects.