A Singaporean man named Eddy See wrote into the mainstream media to criticize the recent slew of tax hikes dished onto Singaporeans. Having worked with Ministries and Statutory Boards and seen them work up close and personal, he noticed numerous wastage of public monies by these public servants. He observed that should an approved budget funding be under-utilized, it would risked being questioned and this made public servants spend the balance funds on unnecessary things through variation orders.
He hoped that the Government would look to themselves on how to maximise cost savings before raising taxes on Singaporeans.
“I hope ministries and statutory boards treat their allocated budgets like hard-earned monies given by one’s parents to manage. The younger generation groomed to lead the agencies must be taught the value of money. That would help to avoid wastage.
It is easy for a company in a monopolistic situation, or a government, to increase revenue because consumers and citizens have no choice if there are services they need. But we must first look at how taxpayers’ monies are spent.
In a competitive environment, a 10 per cent reduction in company expenses is easier to achieve and has a higher net margin than a 10 per cent increase in revenue. We must plug the holes and pluck the low-hanging fruits.
Having worked with ministries and statutory boards on public projects, I was shocked to see how budgets were spent.
For example, approved funding had to be spent or agencies would risk being questioned, so they chose to spend on unnecessary things via variation orders. Should not savings in projects that are managed well and executed under budget be applauded?
Spending money is easy but getting the most bang for the buck is more difficult. I hope the relevant authorities can address the concern about how allocated budgets are managed so as to avoid wastage.”