GST vouchers: An obstacle to Singapore’s progress?

GST vouchers: An obstacle to Singapore’s progress?

by Foong Swee Fong

Come August, about 1.5 million Singaporeans will receive up to S$850 in Goods & Service Tax (GST) vouchers to help with the cost of living.

Nobody will quarrel with having more money, yet, this annual handout is detrimental to the progress of the people and the nation because it adds to the suffocating influence and power of the government over the people.

The government has a hand in every sector of the economy, including food courts, supermarkets, transport, healthcare, banking and insurance, property, construction, seaports, airports, and airlines. It controls the labour unions and the employers’ federation. More than 80% of the people depend on it for their housing.

The town councils are directly controlled by it (except the few constituencies not won by the PAP). Our Central Provident Fund (CPF) is controlled by it. The mainstream media, funded by the people, operates as its propaganda arm.

The legitimate duties of a government are external defence, internal security, and functions that are naturally not profitable for the private sector but will frequently reap benefits for society in the long run, including essential services for the poor, like education, medical care, and housing. The rest should be left to the private sector while ensuring free and fair competition.

The government’s excessive control in so many aspects of our life will only make those of us who are meek, dependent on it, and those who are active and ambitious, sycophants (“balls carriers”).

It is far better that the government scrap the vouchers but ensure that the people, especially those in the lower economic strata, can make a living wage, by drastically reducing the army of foreign workers, who are keeping wages down.

In addition, the government should relook its policies that keep cost of living high, including the recent increase in GST, excessive economic activity in a very small island which has arguably led to dis-economies of scale, the conundrum of a public housing policy that is dependent on ever-increasing prices, given that the people’s retirement funds are tied to it.

Using taxpayers’ money to give out annual GST vouchers only adds to the control of the government over the people, which is evil. People in such a country, like slaves, will never fully develop themselves, to be the best that they can be, instead, will shrivel to being small men, who can never achieve anything great.

The government, in its wanton need for control, is sacrificing enormous human potential, even as you are reading this.

Finally, we can all bet our last GST voucher that the government will carry out the general election shortly after the people have received the vouchers in August, to capitalize on their gratefulness, which may well give them the edge over their opponents, and thus extend their iron-grip on the people for another five years.

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