GOVT PROMISES TO SPEND $3 BILLION ON ELDERLY, A 30 TIMES INCREASE IN SPENDING?

According to the Strait Times news report ”$3b plan to help seniors live more fulfilling lives” (Aug 27) – “In a push to brighten the golden years, a $3 billion five-year plan will give Singapore’s seniors opportunities to learn, volunteer and live independently, well after retirement.”

Elections timing?

The timing of this announcement may be rather uncanny, given that the elections are just days away.

Only spent $100m last 5 years?

As to “There have been similar government-initiated plans for active ageing in the past, for instance in 2010, when $100 million was set aside to keep seniors healthy and involved in their communities” – does it mean that we only spent $100 million in the last five years?

Promise to spend 30 times more next 5 years?

And now we are promising to spend 30 times more ($3 billion) in the next five years?

Lowest government spending?

In this connection,  according to the Economist magazine (Sep 27) – Singapore seems to have the lowest government spending in the world amongst developed and developing countries – “(in) Denmark, government spending runs to nearly 60% of GDP. More diverse America allocates just 39% of GDP to government, in polyglot Singapore the figure is just 14%”.

Only 3.5% of GDP social spending?

According to the article “Asia spending too little on poor: Report” (Straits Times, Jul 12, 2013) – “Singapore spent 3.5 per cent of GDP on social protection, which includes the Central Providend Fund (CPF)This was far below the 19.2 per cent by Japan and 8 per cent spent by South Korea, the only other high-income countries in the study.”

If exclude CPF, even lower spending?

“As CPF is not spending by the Government, but essentially the people’s own savings – Singapore’s social spending may actually be even much lower than that cited in the subject report” (“Singapore spends the least (relatively) on social spending?“, Jul 12, 2013).

$24b cash budget surplus?

In this connection, the estimated cash Budget surplus under IMF fiscal reporting guidelines is more than $24 billion for FY2014.

Leong Sze Hian

 

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