GE2015: Vivian Balakrishnan asks Chee Soon Juan to spell out how SDP's plans will be funded

PAP's (from left) Liang Eng Hwa,Vivian Balakrishnan,Sim Ann and Christopher de Souza addressing their supporters at the Assumption Pathway School.
PAP's (from left) Liang Eng Hwa,Vivian Balakrishnan,Sim Ann and Christopher de Souza addressing their supporters at the Assumption Pathway School.ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Dr Vivian Balakrishnan has posed a slew of what he called "awkward questions" to Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan, and maintained that the latter's proposed policies will hurt the country.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday evening, Dr Balakrishnan, the Minister for Environment and Water Resources who leads the People's Action Party (PAP) team in Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, pressed Dr Chee - who is leading the SDP team standing in the constituency - for details on his proposed spending and tax programmes.

"How much will Dr Chee Soon Juan spend and on what? Will Dr Chee Soon Juan declare the total bill he intends to spend on all his plans? What taxes will Dr Chee Soon Juan raise and from whom?"

He continued: "Will Dr Chee declare the new and additional taxes he will raise and from whom? Is he going to raise income tax, corporate tax and/or GST? What impact will these taxes have on the middle class and local companies who cannot relocate to lower tax countries?"

Dr Balakrishnan also referred to the SDP's previously stated intention to slice $5.75 billion from Singapore's current defence spending.

"Is it responsible for Dr Chee and his team to ask for such a huge cut in defence spending given the current global and regional climate. What other national programmes and policies does Dr Chee intend to cut?"

Dr Balakrishnan wrote: "Dr Chee's 'cut and paste' and irresponsible policies will lead Singapore to bankruptcy and put us at grave risk."

"Dr Chee's ideas will lead Singapore on the path of much higher taxes, higher national debts for our children and put our national security at risk."

This latest exchange comes after Dr Chee on Wednesday called for Dr Balakrishnan to look at the PAP's own track record of what he called "tax and spend" policies. He also said the PAP had criticised many of the SDP's policy proposals, only to copy them later.

On Tuesday, just hours after nominations closed, Dr Balakrishnan had said the SDP's policies would set Singapore "on the road to Greece", referring to the debt-stricken European country.