SGREANS CAN TRUST GOVT, BUT SHOW US TRANSPARENCY FIRST

Dear Editors

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I refer to the article “Trust the Govt to be efficient with its use of money: Shanmugam” (Straits Times, Mar 5).

It states that “As the Government spends more in areas such as healthcare, it also needs more revenue, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam at a dialogue with residents on Sunday (March 5). “Money is not going to come from the sky… We have to pay for what we use, and we just have to trust the Government to be efficient with its use of the money,” he said.

He also explained the need for the 30 per cent increase in water tariffs – the first in 17 years – which was announced last month. He pointed out that one- and two-room HDB households will not see any nett increase at all, while for most other HDB flats, the nett increase will only be between $2 and $11 per month.”

I believe Singaporeans generally trust the Government about its use of the people’s money. This trust may be further enhanced if there is more transparency on how our money is invested and used? In this connection, I would like to quote one of AWARE’s past Budget recommendations – “We ask the Ministry of Finance to publish key budget documents in accordance with international best practice, including a pre-budget statement, detailed breakdown of the budget for the financial year, in-year reports, mid-year review, and an annual report detailing the spending of individual ministries.”

Leong Sze Hian

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