Govt must justify expenses to taxpayers

With the recent announcement of a hike in Goods and Services Tax (GST) to fund rising social costs in Singapore, the Government needs to demonstrate to taxpayers that it is being frugal.

Examples like the impending mergers of junior colleges say otherwise.

When the eight JCs merge, four campuses will be left vacant.

JC campuses generally have full-sized stadiums with running tracks, science labs and lecture theatres, and probably cost significantly more to build than a primary or secondary school.

However, instead of utilising these vacant campuses, a new campus was built for Eunoia JC.

Also, the Education Ministry said the merged Yishun Innova JC will be located at the older Yishun JC site rather than at the newer Innova JC due to ease of location, adding that the older campus will be upgraded, meaning spending more money.

The Government needs to show that it is serious about cutting unnecessary expenses, when there are clear opportunities to do so.

Lee Jun Jie

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 24, 2018, with the headline 'Govt must justify expenses to taxpayers'. Print Edition | Subscribe