By Leong Sze Hian
I refer to the reports “Singapore unveils S$2b package to boost fertility rate” (Channel NewsAsia, Jan 21) and “More than S$8.3b disbursed in tax rebates to encourage procreation” (CNA, Jan 20).
Tax benefits more than 4 times non-tax benefits?
The above indicates that the procreation tax benefits are more than four times the procreation benefits.
Lower-income don’t get tax benefits?
What this means is that those who do not earn enough to pay any or very little income tax, do not benefit from the procreation tax benefits.
For the rich, the higher the income and tax rate, the greater the procreation tax benefits.
Procreation incentives favour the higher-income?
There are too many procreation incentives that discriminate against lower-income Singaporeans, like the parenthood tax rebate, working mother’s child relief and qualifying child relief.
How many don’t get tax benefits?
As to “more than 850,000 working mums and dads enjoyed such tax breaks in 2012″, how many working mums and dads did not enjoy any or very little tax breaks?
In this connection, according to the Inland Authority of Singapore’s (IRAS) Tax Calculator, Singaporeans earning less than $3,000 a month generally do not have to pay any income tax, after the deductions of their employee CPF contribution and personal reliefs.
According to the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Report on Labour Force 2011, there were 1,068,000 resident workers earning less than $3,000 a month as of June 2011, and the median gross monthly income was $2,633.
Same benefits regardless of income?
Why not just give the same benefits to parents, regardless of their income? After all, I understand that about 60 per cent of Singaporeans do not or hardly pay any income tax.
Lower-income procreate more?
The notion that giving more financial incentives to the higher income and educated may be “statistically” flawed. Statistics have always indicated that the lower-income and lower-educated are the ones who tend to procreate more.
Rich are motivated by money to procreate?
If you are a lower-income family, the benefits may make a world of difference. But, if you are highly paid, how much more motivation is there for you to procreate by dangling more financial incentives?
How can the principles and ideals of meritocracy be truly procreated, when our procreation incentives are so lob-sided that they pay out more than four times for procreation tax benefits vis-a-vis procreation benefits.
Actually, the procreation tax benefits may be much more than four times because the $2 billion procreation benefits are paid to those who receive procreation tax benefits as well.