Judging from the recent announcements, it would appear as if the government is on a spree to increase the taxes and costs of everything. Perhaps it is nothing but pure coincidence but I wonder if there is an concerted attempt to increase government revenue? And if so, why?
It has already been publicly announced that the Goods and Services Tax (GST) is set to rise between 2021 to 2025. In my opinion, it is a curious time frame but that is a separate issue. The point I am trying to make here is that the government appears to be laying out the groundwork for expanding its tax base.
Apart from the potential GST hikes, the prices of both electricity and water have also gone up.
Most recently, it has been reported that the Cess Act which has been amended earlier this week — could see persons who offer “travel or other event-related goods and services” being subjected to an additional business tax, if they benefit from key tourism events such as the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix.
Perhaps the timing of all these increments are all nothing but a coincidence but having them all announced in such close proximity as each other gives the impression that the government is on some kind of mission to increase the government coffers. Why? Have we been living beyond our means? Or rather, have we spent too much on events that we should not have spent on?
Why should small businesses who have had no say in whether or not events such as the F1 are brought in being potentially made to foot part of the bill? Their opinion was not asked when the government brought the event in by splashing out. It seems rich to now turn around to potentially tax the little people for an event that they never asked for.
Secondly, has a conclusive and objective study ever been done to show how small businesses have benefited from the F1?
I understand that taxes can never remain static but I wonder if consideration has been given to how this sudden potential increments in all directions would look to the public? Is there really a need to increase prices and taxes? If so, why? Is our government in some sort of financial trouble? Are these taxes going to be used to plug some financial hole that we do not know about?
I don’t know the answers but the timing is curious.