Pre-Budget 2014 Debate: Singaporeans Pay the Highest Taxes, Get the Least Benefits?

pre budget 2014 conference

Organised by Empowering Singaporeans, and supported by MARUAH, Function 8 and Workfair

Amidst worries of contracting global demand and rising prices at home, Empowering Singaporeans, a group of concerned Singaporeans will host a forum prior to the government’s third Budget Statement widely thought to be at the midpoint before the next General Elections which must be held at the latest by January 2017.

Finance Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, in a wide-ranging interview, recently disclosed his thoughts on government support for Singaporeans struggling with rising costs. Earlier, the Health Ministry announced a review of the 3M healthcare payment system. HDB cooling measures have also been implemented.

However, in the light of the public transport fare increase announced Thursday, it is unclear if the Finance Minister’s views will carry the day or whether his seventh Budget Statement, to be delivered on 21 February, will be business as usual.

Since the 2011 General Elections various bodies have produced alternative Budget proposals. But this event is a first as a group of NGOs coming together to discuss the Budget. Key civil society organisations, Function 8, Maruah, and Workfair Singapore, will participate in the forum.

A spokesperson for Empowering Singaporeans, which was set up late last year to raise awareness to Singaporeans on national policy matters, said, “We hope this forum will empower citizens to play a more informed role in working with the government on refining the public finances.”

The forum will be held at the following:

Date:   15 February 2014

Time:   2.00pm – 5.00pm

Venue: TKP Conference Center Raffles Place

Hall 1

55 Market Street #09-02

To find out more about the forum, you can go to the Facebook event page here.

*****

Showing a $1 Gesture of Support to Send Out a Strong Message: Singaporeans Want Our Budget Back

The basic minimum costs of organising the Pre-Budget Forum 2014 event, “Singaporeans Pay the Highest Taxes, Get the Least Benefits”, on 15 February 2014 is estimated to be about $1,650 (rental).

Calling for 1,650 Singaporeans to give $1 each as a gesture of support, and to send the message that this is an important issue for Singaporeans.

You can transfer your $1 by ATM, Internet banking, or cheque, etc, to POSB Savings Account No. 279-12328-0.

If we spend just $1 more a day on every person in Singapore – we would still have $2 billion in surplus a year (or $34 billion, if we use the fiscal reporting standards by the International Monetary Fund!).

Please share this meaningful activity with your family, friends, etc.

We will be also be publishing the receipts of the transfers and usage to ensure that there is clear transparency and accountability to everyone!

This event is organised by Empowering Singaporeans, in collaboration with supporting non-governmental organisations – Maruah, Function 8 and Workfair, and speakers from AWARE.

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