Voices of Youth: Unsustainable to draw more from Singapore’s reserves to fund spending

I agree with Senior Minister of State for Finance and Transport Chee Hong Tat’s recent criticism of the Workers’ Party (WP) for its opposition to the goods and services tax (GST) increase (WP wants to fund spending while avoiding moves like GST hike by taking more from reserves: Chee Hong Tat, Nov 22).

The WP has repeatedly called for using more from our national reserves to find social programmes. This is unsustainable, as our reserves are finite.

Singapore’s reserves are meant to tide us through extraordinary circumstances when the nation faces potentially dire consequences, like the expected draw of $42.9 billion between 2020 and 2022 from Singapore’s reserves to tide the nation through the Covid-19 pandemic.

As Singapore reopens, further draws on our reserves must be avoided.

This would allow us to rebuild our reserves to the level of what past generations left us. We have to ensure that significant funds remain to protect future generations.

It would also ensure that we stand ready with adequate resources should any major event occur that requires significant governmental funding. 

We must avoid drawing on our reserves for now, even if it means raising the GST.

Ezekiel Tan Jun Kai, 15

Integrated Programme Year 3 student

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