Monday, July 9, 2012

Trying To be Clever

Last week the Ministry of Finance (MOF) clarified that each household is eligible for only one Goods and Services Tax Voucher (GSTV) - U-Save rebate, the component of the GST Voucher scheme which was meant to help offset monthly utilities bills. "The amount of GSTV-U Save rebates depends on the flat type, and not the size of the household," the ministry stated in a press release. If, say, three members of household, staying in the same flat, are individually eligible and duly received notification for the GSTV- U Save rebate, only one use of the utilities rebate may be utilised. This is inspite of the fact that all three members of the household are individually taxed by the regressive GST scheme each time they make a purchase of goods or services, whither at a hawker center, food court or restaurant.

The GSTV is a permanent scheme introduced in February this year, within the 2012 Budget, so that, Thaman Shanmugaratnam may argue, “GST plus other schemes will not be regressive”. Well, it doesn't seem to quite work out as originally planned, does it? What semblance of altruism traceable in Thaman's effort is torpedoed by some smart aleck.

When it comes to splurging on Herman Miller chairs or designer Brompton bikes, the mandarin scholars sure know how to tweak the system to maximise their benefit. When it comes to fine-tuning what the less mortals are supposed receive as relief from the punitive taxes, they also know how to tweak the system so their departmental budget for personal comfort is not diminished. They may pat their own backs for being clever, but karma has a way of hitting back.

A family relative who used to work at the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) told of the time when international bids were called for the purchase of 5 quayside gantry cranes for offloading containers. All the big time tenderers met at the table for the bid opening, resembling a mini United Nations, with representatives from USA, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Japan. One by one, their sealed bids were opened, and confidential prices read aloud. It was a shock then to the vendors when the PSA director in charge announced that the port authority had decided to buy 3 cranes instead of 5, and would the vendors please make a new submission. Many stomped out of the room in outrage, furious with the gambit to bargain them down, now that everybody's carefully guarded prices were revealed to all and sundry. Even within PSA circles, protests of foul play made the grapevine. The clever director tried to shout down his critics with, "If it's for the good fo PSA, who's to say it is wrong?"

Only two vendors bothered to participate in the re-bid.

22 comments:

  1. only one U-save rebate per household so why bother sending a letter to everyone then? What is MOF logic? No one at mof asked this? So misleading.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Think someone goof but then who is to know the truth? "We are sorry..." is something you can only hear from them during elections. Once over, who cares.

    ReplyDelete
  3. If they give out 4 vouchers of $110 to a household, the total amount given out on paper is $440. Multiply this by 1m that is $440m.

    The actual amount pays out should only be $110m. How would the numbers be recorded in the books and how would the number be announced to the people? $440m given out, $440m recorded, or $110m, $440m recorded, or what combinations?

    It is quite interesting really.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What accounting? Do we know how much we have as a country? Or CPF?

      Delete
  4. When some Tender Board only announce material changes after opening the tender results and not before, one can speculate that they are not really interested in bona fide tenders.

    This is the oldest trick that interested parties use to beat the system. Even big time developers, architects, consultants & contractors use this common trick to award tenders to their preferred buddies.

    We have recently seen that sex is part of the equation when it comes to govt tenders. I suppose when it comes to multi-billion $ defence contracts, there is even no need to ask for anything since they must have developed it into a fine art of making it impossible to find out anything because it is all CLASSIFIED information.

    Is that why our defence spending always increases even when we are fighting no war ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fighting no war yet we have plenty of high ranking officers. That could be a reason why NS needs to continue - so that the ratio of Indians to Chiefs is more palatable.

      Delete
  5. What's so big deal with one-off $110 per household given our exorbitant electricity prices at the top of the world league table?

    Hong Kong paid out for 2 years now a monthly subsidy of HK$150 (S$25) per month, auto offset from utility bill. Works out to HK$1800 ie. S$300 per year. Some people don't even need to pay utility for a full year on that amount alone. Talk about real easing of inflationary pain.

    Yes, they don't waste money printing & sending color vouchers for everyone.

    http://www.fstb.gov.hk/tb/eng/info/electricitychargesubsidy.html

    ReplyDelete
  6. Two Tales of Too Clever

    (1) SIA Cargo will be paying S$62.5 million to the US Justice Department after pleading guilty to a price-fixing conspiracy involving 21 airlines

    (2) SIA was fined 25.1 million rands (US$3.3 million) and SAA 18.8 million rands (US$2.5 million) for price-fixing on routes between Johannesburg and Hong Kong.

    Any surprise why they are doing badly?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, what is there to do withGSTV-U Save?

      Delete
    2. Aren't PAPAYA the most honest govt in the entire universe? (Yeah, including Mars, Jupiter, etc.!) How come they their 'offspring' (SIA) such a cheat?

      Or are they clean and corrupt-free because they tell us so like...

      By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise. - Adolf Hitler

      Fact: SingPost's major shareholders can't be unhappy about all the postage spent.

      Delete
    3. //Hey, what is there to do withGSTV-U Save?//

      PSA, SIA, NParks, SCDF etc..all the govt entities either in bidding or procurement exercises on both ends, all the same leopard spots.

      Delete
  7. I don't need handouts. The government is denigrating its people by doing that. They should be ashamed instead for taking more from the people than is required to run the country properly. *Throw money back at their greedy face*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you suggesting they keep their "generosity" to themselves? They are already doing it, don't worry. Anyway, it doesn't cost them a limb to give away some crumbs. Don't you just love their magnanimity? They don't have to, you know?

      Delete
    2. We also dont need gst for essentials living items. We dont need expensive housing and transport. We dont need increasing standard of living and we definitely dont need expensive ministers.

      Delete
    3. Of course, they need to give you handout, otherwise how to show that they are the most generous government in the world with front headline in Shitty Times ?

      First, they hike fare and increase price of everything, then give a mini fraction back to proclaim that they are full of love and compassion ! typical modus operandi of PAP, don't we know ?

      Delete
    4. People who laud gahmen for giving away GST vouchers are actually saying, "Please give more to the gahmen's coffers so that they can reward you 0.01 fold back from time to time. The more you give, the more you will be rewarded." Swee bo?

      Delete
  8. Just use the GST Vouchers,spent the Growth Dividends whatever and don't you ever feel grateful,because you will always Pay And Pay
    2016 will be payback time for PAP

    ReplyDelete
  9. sorry to high jack post but could not find an email for you

    foo mee har is my sis in law and its only matter of time before the familee on her side and me end up in court. i may be gagged. would be grateful if you could follow these links

    http://forum.channelnewsasia.com/showthread.php?121504-being-sued

    http://singsupplies.com/showthread.php?122240-being-sent-letter-waiting-to-be-sued

    ReplyDelete
  10. It is sad that so many high IQ scholars in our government fail to understand the full meaning of KARMA,and this includes one very dedicated buddhist minister who spent much time to learn Buddhism.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Rebates serve two purposes. One is to show the gahmen has some form of serving the poor and the other, keep prices high. Instead of lowering inflation to help the poor, goods and services tax is suppose to help the poor as gst rebates? How many of these poor actually benefit?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wаy сool! Somе extrеmely valid pοints!
    I аppгeciаte you wгiting this wгite-uρ plus the rest
    of the ѕite is alsο reallу gοod.


    Here is my web page ... Silk'n Sensepil Reviews

    ReplyDelete
  13. Article wгіting is also a exсitement,
    іf you be familiaг with afteг thаt уou can write or еlsе it
    is complex tο ωrite.

    Alsο visit mу homepаge Please click the up coming document

    ReplyDelete