Understand all perspectives for a fair Budget

Following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's comments on a tax hike, the Government is expected to give a detailed account on what additional spending will be needed and where the extra revenue will come from (S'pore to raise taxes as govt spending increases; Nov 20).

Formulating a fair, progressive and future-proof Budget is a challenging task.

In order to do so, an updated analysis on current circumstances in Singapore should be done.

As the last Population White Paper was released in 2013, new projections for the future - such as on the ageing population, marriage rate, fertility rate and inflow of foreigners - should be made.

The Government should also present an objective evaluation on the strengths and weaknesses of the current and past fiscal measures.

The people, too, need to recognise the issues the nation is facing and understand the Government's perspective.

Using more returns from our reserves and including government land sales as revenue would lessen our taxation burden.

But we must be wary that once a precedent has been set, it will be almost impossible to reverse it in the future.

Giving feedback is good, but let us not pressurise the Government to opt for populist policies.

Albert Ng Ya Ken

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2017, with the headline 'Understand all perspectives for a fair Budget'. Print Edition | Subscribe