20160420 Budget 2016: the deception continues (2)

With reference to my post “Budget 2016: the deception continues” and PAP’s recent ‘clarification’ “Why are some revenues not included in the Budget Statement”.

PAP: “…Land sales form part of Singapore’s Past Reserves, which are invested”.

PAP should not continue to take Singaporeans for a ride. The reserves belong to Singaporeans collectively and PAP would do well to disclose material information on our reserves:
– Invested in where?
– How much land sales revenue has the government accumulated, $300 billion, $500 billion or more?
– Including returns, what is the total balance of past reserves?
– Are there substantial unrealised investment losses?

PAP: “ Singaporeans do benefit from these land sale revenues that are invested. Up to 50 per cent of net investment returns (NIR) on our Reserves can be included in the Budget for spending”. Questions:
– If Singaporeans do benefit, why do we have the highest proportion of elderly cleaners, cardboard collectors, low wage workers, etc among wealthy countries and even less developed ones?
– The estimated FY2016 NIR contribution is $14.7 billion, an increase of $5.76 billion or 64% over FY2015 $8.94 billion. Is this long term planning?
– Why is PAP afraid of transparency, ie state only “up to 50%” instead of disclosing the actual percentage of NIR included in our Budget?
– The huge increase of $5.76 billion for FY2016 – does it mean only a peanut percentage was spent in previous years?
– Does a country with an economy on steroids and creating good jobs for citizens need to resort to spending alternative stream of revenue to supplement the budget?
Land in Singapore belongs to citizens. Why should its investment returns be included in the budget to benefit PRs and foreigners?

PAP must come clean and clarify if it has ever dipped into past reserves to pay CPF members’ interest when GIC’s returns fell below CPF rates in 8 out of 20 years in the past.

With so many questions unanswered and transparency an issue for 5 decades, should any thinking citizen trust PAP’s “truth about the Singapore reserves”?

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