Taxes: How PAP has Betrayed Singaporeans

The Singapore General Election will be held on 11 September 2015.

Has the current ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), done its job or has it hurt Singaporeans instead?

Over the next two weeks, I will be compiling the past articles that I have written into the different thematic areas, so that you can see for yourselves if the PAP has helped Singaporeans or if it has actually make lives more difficult for Singaporeans.

In today’s article, the focus is on TAXES.

You can click on the red headers below to read more of each of the articles.

(1) How Are Taxes Built For The Rich In Singapore?


Which means that even though the CPF contribution rate is 20%, after the wage level of $5,000, the contribution rate actually becomes increasingly much lower. So, for someone earning $30,000 every month, his/her CPF contribution rate is only 3% (based on the ordinary wage), and not 20%.

You can see that for low- to middle-income earners earning below $5,000, their real overall tax rate is actually higher than the high-income earners.

What this means is that for someone who earns $3,000, he/she is actually paying a tax of 21%, whereas for someone who earns $15,000, he/she would pay a much lower tax of 15%.

What this also means is that Singaporeans who earn below $5,000, or the lower-income earners, seem to be shouldering the financial burden in Singapore, and the rich would have it much easier in Singapore.

Read more here.

(2) Singapore’s Tax System: Robbing The Poor To Feed The Rich


This means that low- and middle-income Singaporeans have a much lower purchasing power than the high-income earners in Singapore. And mind you, more than 75% of Singaporeans earn below $5,000, which means that 75% of Singaporeans have a much lower purchasing power than the top 25% high-income earners. And may I remind you again, the richest 20% in Singaporeans earns as much as the poorest 80% in Singapore.

Not only that, since 1995, the richest 10% has seen their share of income in Singapore grow from 30% to 42%, while the richest 5% has seen their share of income grow from 22% to 31% over the same period. So, you can see that the rich has grown richer and richer while the poor has grown poorer and poorer in Singapore – you can see that the real income of the richest 20% has grown the fastest while that of the poorest 20% had remained stagnant.

Read more here.

(3) This is How PAP Makes Singaporeans Pay High Taxes and Earn from Us


The aim of this article is to let you know that first, tax is not low in Singapore. In fact, when you look at what Singaporeans have to pay, for the same things that the people in the Nordic and other developed countries have to pay, you will realise that we are paying the same amount of money, if not more, for the same things.

Also, the CPF has a tax component to it and the PAP is clearly making money out from it. Take a look at the illustration below.

For the median income earner, he/she has to pay a tax of 2.5% and 37% into CPF. And as we have discussed earlier, of the CPF, nearly 15% of our CPF actually becomes profit that the government is letting itself earn from us.

Also, there is the implicit tax. In the example above, if the CPF were to earn 6%, the person would have ended with $450,000. However, at the current interest rate of 3%, in order to still end up with the same $450,000, the person would have to contribute another 20% of his/her salary into the CPF – thus this additional 20% is actually the “implicit” tax that Singaporeans are paying to the PAP, or rather it is money that we are losing which we should otherwise have.

Finally, for the expenditure for healthcare, education and retirement that we would have to pay from our own pockets (which citizens in the Nordic countries and Germany only need to pay into tax and social security for), this would make up another 8% that we have to pay from our salaries.

Thus in total, the true “tax” that Singaporeans are actually paying (to get the same things as what the Nordic and German citizens pay into tax and social security) is a total of 67.5%.

Clearly, “tax” is not low. In fact, Singaporeans have to sacrifice the most – 67.5% – from our already low wages, which is why Singaporeans also have the lowest purchasing power among the developed countries.

Read more here.


  1. Chris

    Clearly… U must be joking… I’ve friends who dun pay tax at all… That’s because after all the rebates, $30000 becomes <20k so no need to pay… Even those with $40k also able to pay near $0 tax…
    Not saying that my friends r poor, its becos they know how to pay less tax… They max out all the govt tax rebates available for them. I just need to read and put in money into srs and cpfsa…

      • R

        Quote “You can see that for low- to middle-income earners earning below $5,000, their real overall tax rate is actually higher than the high-income earners.

        What this means is that for someone who earns $3,000, he/she is actually paying a tax of 21%, whereas for someone who earns $15,000, he/she would pay a much lower tax of 15%.

        What say you. CPF is a tax???. Stupid. If it’s tax, why should you get anything back, whether at 55 yr or 65. thank GOD you are talking rubbish.

      • Rotten PAPayas

        PAP has to resort to bribe elderlies with a packet of chicken rice + mineral water bottle, to bring them to make up numbers in PAPer rallies…Good government?

    • upshot tan

      Chris is right.. I earn $4000 and even i don;t pay that much in income tax in Singapore with my parent deduction and NS deduction… my tax is llike $300+ a year. Your figures of CPF and TAX is misleading Roy. I am in support of your stand for an alternative voice but you are again treading on very crazy and dangerous ground by misleading figures and use of words. I have a lot of Friend who earn less then @2000 WHO DON’T PAY TAX IN Singapore. The only kind of taxes we pay would be thru the GST we pay for things we buy.

      What the heck man…. You are starting to not make sense and grabbing at straws. I supported your ideas but I have reply to some of your early posting and on tweet and many times I wrote to not use silly ideas to get attention and votes. Stick to the facts and not mislead figures.

      You cant not use CPF and call them TAXES indirectly man… we still get that money back after retiring and some as long as we live till we die.. Yes it is slow and we should be able to get that all back at 55 but to say that is also like income tax is crazy. And the riches you use their minimum CPF contribution as a tax figure to demonstrate they pay less tax is crazy shit.. CPF is only collected up to a cap of $4800. per month. So if you make more, well you are lucky to get the rest of what you make untouched by CPF. So if I earn $10K a month, only the $4800 will have 20% taken out. But the $5200 is not touched and I get to keep it. For that you want to blame us who make more for being favored and taxed less??? WTH roy.. you are still using very “sue you n court friend” ideas to attack the P A P.

      • Chris

        Actually, the normal rich r dying to put in more money into cpf if our govt didn’t put a cap to our cpf…. I have friends earning >10k and they r asking why LHL never up the cpf cap… As long as it provides tax rebates, they pump in more money into their cpf… But too bad, everything good for us will be capped. So that the real rich dun benefit too much… But I think govt to revise the cap upwards a bit… So the upper middle class can benefit more…
        Let’s hope lhl will hear us…
        We fully support our cpf, please up the cpf income ceiling to 8k

      • ACA

        Well said, you are right. If he think the tax system is benefiting the high earner then he should work hard to become an high earner to take benefit of the system. I believe the existing is well fit in current evonomic environment for Singapore.

  2. subra1991

    Hi Roy,

    Since I know you are also a graduate,…not sure which university you went to, maybe NUS, or NTU?…., Hope you can do some quick checks on the amount of scholarship the Singapore Goverment is offer to lot of foreign students,….using taxpayers $,….and in the end I won’t be surprise they if they don’t even have to pay….I know they are not bounded to any single organization but they just have to stay in Singapore & work in Singapore for the next five years…..this I came to know when I was driving taxi, and had a chance to take a lot of China & India students from NUS..,,

    Not sure how many Singaporean are aware such things the Goverment are doing behind our back,….hope you can bring this up in your election rally.

    Cheers Subramaniam

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Ted

      Why not ask me?
      Nothing new…. All Singaporeans grad know…
      These students actually spurred our fellow Singaporeans graduates… I for one dun like this but I cannot help but say that these foreign students did keep me on my toes…
      Just like globalization, I hate it. But how? Do u think we should close Singapore and go back to the kampong days? My children will be extremely unhappy if u bring them to a hole to pee…

    • Ted

      Subramaniam, I took the liberty to answer u because u will never get a reply here from Roy… Since Roy is not the only graduate from nus, ntu… I feel I need to speak on his behalf since I am also an alumni of our local universities…
      Majority of these foreign students will stay and contribute to our economy… Some will leave … But the crux is that we capture the majority … Like what our great Roy says, it’s human rights ….. U can’t force these ppl …
      In many other countries, they r also doing the same thing.. Attracting foreign students to their countries with scholarships and such.. Singapore govt is not doing something new… Just too bad, Singapore students r considered 1st world country so we have less opportunities to get such overseas scholarship from USA, UK and such… What to do? Do u want us to become as bad as African countries just so that u can get such overseas scholarship from these countries? I think better not… Because not every Singaporean students is bright enough to compete… Some will but why do u want to benefit some and then make Singapore poor and chaotic ?

      • Ted

        Uploading cartoons won’t change the fact that our govt is good… Opposition must win by telling the truth and not hide their accounts. MND already said, it’s ready to dispense the funds once WP agrees to let independent forensic auditors review their accounts… If wp has nothing to hide then why keep on making rubbish statements to confuse voters? I really cannot understand…
        Can your cartoons tell us why?

    • Chris

      So many fans waiting to cash in on WP mega TOWN COUNCIL…. How many will be able to win any of the new wp TC contracts?
      Well base on recent history, it seems only the true blue’s top brass will get it… The rest of the small time members will not be in the know… Sad… So much for meritocracy…
      Oh, once wp becomes govt… Meritocracy will be died too…. Every Tom , dick and Harry will be a degree holder, just like Taiwan,..,, but the only problem is no work and low pay…

      • Rotten PAPayas

        Agree with you on the last point. Can’t let every Lee or Harry make a fool of themselves at both national and international level

    • Chris

      Save our future… Save us from all these lousy oppositions …. Can some one please save us??
      Save us from having not enough babies, save us from aging population, save us from globalization….

  3. another rubbish theory from Roy

    Hi Roy, you’re completely and absolutely wrong. Tax is non-returnable. In Nordic countries, their tax is gone. Poof. It doesn’t belong to them anymore.

    If CPF is tax, then why do you say “return our CPF”. CPF is fully ours to keep. CPF is up to you to invest on anything that you fancy. It’s wholly up to you. All CPF down to the last cent will definitely always go back to you without doubt.

    It’s unlike tax in Nordic countries where you have no say how your hard-earned tax is going to spent, whether it’s going to be spent on you or the next door neighbour who doesn’t work but just protest all the time.

    If tax can be returned, then your system is the most unique one in this world. No one in this world can do it. Not Nordic, not the liberal countries. No one. That’s pure fantasy and myth.

    • Concerned citizen

      Haha. Are you actually trying to debate with Roy citing such things as common-sense, facts and logic. GOOD LUCK!!. Glass has been known to bend easier!

  4. Ted

    Tonight or tomorrow we shall see another reform party’s Roy article. Most probably endorsed by the great economic guru Kenneth je-something…..
    I wonder how Kenneth pass his economic subject in jc?

  5. The Oracle

    So Roy thinks CPF is a tax? Well, he probably thinks borrowing money is the same as earning it and that’s how you can run a country. Oh wait! That’s how he already runs his life:
    1) Ask suckers to donate.
    2) Take overseas holidays.
    3) Ask suckers to donate again.
    But eventually even the most gullible can see through Roy’s rubbish.

  6. Yeap Chee Seng

    If CPF is a tax then I got my flat using tax payers money. If I go to hospital, I can use taxpayers’ money (Medisave) to pay the bills. If my tax (CPF balance) exceed the minimum sum, then I can withdraw taxpayers’ fund for my own use.

    If CPF is tax, we are living in a welfare state.

  7. Singapore Citizen Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
    Singapore Citizen
    10 Sep 2015 Thursday Singapore Time

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