Should we reconsider spending more than 150 times more on infrastructure spending, than social welfare spending?

I refer to the article “Major infrastructure projects over next decade will put Singapore economy on stronger footing: Lawrence Wong” (Straits Times, Aug 15).

It states that “Singapore may look “built-up” but major infrastructure projects that will unfold here over the next 10 years will put the national economy on an even stronger footing”.

More than $20b infrastructure spending this year?

“According the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), public sector construction contract awards are expected to increase to S$20- 24 bn in 2017 from S$15.8 bn in 2016” (barrons.comApr 27).

The need for “balance” in our fiscal policies?

The data above may highlight what is arguably a fundamental issue with our fiscal policies – the need for balance.

$20b on infrastructure against $130m on ComCare?

How can we as a Government or we, as a people – continue to accept the imbalance in government spending – more than $20 billion in infrastructure spending this year, against a miserly $130 million to a whopping 87,000 beneficiaries a year from ComCare, to help Singaporeans in financial need?

Lowest social welfare spending?

This puts our social welfare spending as a percentage of GDP, at probably the lowest in the world among developed and developing countries, and similarly, our infrastructure spending as a percentage of GDP, at probably the highest in the world.

Leong Sze Hian

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