Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How They Move Up And Do Well

When Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman gave his Budget 2015 speech yesterday, he boasted, “Everyone has moved up, including poorer Singaporeans.” The Oscars have been handed out, but that will not put a stop to this class act.

According to his version of a fairy tale, in the same honest vein as Khaw Boon Wan's Butterfly Lovers, Tharman reminded us that factory employees who made rubber slippers in 1965 were paid about $87 a month  (around $340 in today’s dollars). Today, a lower-income Singaporean worker (at the 20th percentile of the income range) would earn about $1,860. This is more than 5 times as much as it used to be, after adjusting for inflation over the years, he punched in for effect.

In "LKY: The Man And His Ideas" by Han Fook Kwang et al, it is recorded that in 1970, when the pay of other ministers was raised from $2,500 a month to $4,500, Lee Kuan Yew chose not to raise his pay of $3,500. But he knew the greed would come: "...it is unrealistic to expect the next prime minister, one qualified for the job, to discharge the functions of this office for the present salary." The White Paper on Ministerial salaries would come about on November 1, 1994.

The pay off would be more than 5 times as much as it used to be, after adjusting for inflation over the years. Meanwhile the median worker’s pay is only about 6 times what it used to be in 1965, even after adjusting for inflation.

The government had budgeted for an overall deficit of $1.2 billion (or 0.3% of GDP) for FY2014, ending 31 Mar 2015. Tharman said that they now expect a very small deficit of $0.1 billion. That's so many words for saying that money supposedly set aside for the welfare for Singaporeans have not been fully spent. Instead, more have been harvested from the financially strapped. Commuter fares were increased so that the train operators can see their net profits surge 54 percent. Group revenue increased 6.8 per cent to $313.2 million, outstripping total operating expenses which rose 4.2 per cent to $295.9 million. Clearly, there was no need for a fare hike.

Clearly, there's no need for inflated premiums for the compulsory Medishield Life either. You can expect that more will be creamed off from the sheep in this year of the goat.

24 comments:

  1. Screw the budget. Before I can gain any thing from it, I am going to pay more for patrol. End result, I pay more under this budget and government earn more from partol taxes.

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  2. well, we have a chance to show our displeasure soon.

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  3. Hhmmm, might as well compare salaries way back to 1800.
    We would be ultra first world now.

    Taxes for ultra rich kicks in 2017.. by then some creative solutions would have been devised to avoid paying high taxes or they would have all shipped out.

    Credit for training? Geee, after 7 courses and being certified "competent" by WDA, employers still dumped me. Citing that I do not have the pre-requisite experience. The training company made lots of money from loads of people who attended just to get a small monetary incentive.

    They achieved their KPIs but loads of people are still under employed.

    One time road tax discount but petrol duty is perpetual despite lower crude oil?.. you must be really daft to jump for joy.

    I think the entire cabinet believes in Disneyland, santa claus and the 7 dwarfs.

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    1. Think they say this BS to up taxes for 2017 for the rich...cos they have the idea once they win the "Election" again...they can always retract...

      So stupidly obvious lah....zzz

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  4. See the Minister (DPM) actually told us why we had to pay more for transport. SInce 2009, MAS and GIC have been paying dividends and interest they earn plus unrealized paper gains in their investments back to the garmen. This is the new Net Investment Returns framework for the 3 garmn investment entities. But Temasek never could pay a single cent. So we must ensure we help Temasek linked companies earn more money, so these TLCs can finally pay some dividends to Madam, so that Madam can finally stylo milo also pay the garmen something. Hence your $1.1b, your 4% fare increase etc, every year, its so the Xtron loop goes like this: taxpayers pay garmen more taxes, garmen pays Temasek-linked companies to buy buses who then use the buses to earn more money, the TLCs then pay Temasek dividends, Temasek then pays garmen NIR, and garmen says it earned the income to balance the budget. Xtron SIngapore style :) QED.

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    1. Well said!

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    2. Accordingly to Josephine Teo, $26b more to subsidize a profitly rich private company, on top of the $14b. Total $40b to Transport Company. And the same group of Board of Directors are enriching themselves with high salaries and bonuses from the tax payers subsidies. And we still should be grateful to them for the low cost or we would be paying 0.15cts more per trip!! Wow...such audacity.

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    3. Unjust? The laws disagree with you

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    4. So, dont be left out, buy Delgro & SBS, SMRT... its the only way to get some $$ back.

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    5. Don't water the plant if it bears no fruits

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  5. The usual one hand gives out and the other takes back and then some. We've had enough. Time for change. GE is around the corner, with the electoral register open for inspection and the appointment of election officers. Citizens, do the needful.

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    Replies
    1. Give you a pig, take away a cow.

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  6. If today's 20% makes 5x more than 1965, what are the comparable figures for the 80% and the 99%.

    Mr Tharman, how about comparing your total compensation to those of Goh Keng Swee and Toh Chin Chye ***COMBINED*** in 1965, huh? It will put you to SHAME.

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  7. Why he never compare prices of goods and services and HDB? How many times the prices have gone up? How many times our expenditure has gone up? How many times our cost of living has gone up? How many extra hours of work we have to put in compared past and present? How many members of family have to work compared to past?

    KNNBCCB! Think we are Idiot?

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    1. For one fact, the old price I paid for my new car 10 years ago is not even enough to pay for another 10 years to extend its use.

      I need to renew the car to basically earn a meagre living, neither for pleasure or to give me face. Without the car, I will have to join the jobless or to jump the MRT tracks.

      Yet one PAP Minister does not agree to having a COE system based on pay as what you bid for the COE. So the car companies ended up doing the bidding for themselves at the expense of their customers sending COE prices to prices just as obscene as our greedy PAP Ministers.

      And so we now have the Finance Minister now giving out the sweets to secure their power base to be more greedy in their next phase of bleeding the people.

      It's a vicious cycle with the PAP Ministers becoming more and more greedy in order to sustain the whole fucking system. They are such a bunch of real hypocrites not really fit to wear the white uniform because there is a lot of shit happening behind the scenes.

      Do you want to believe their fairy tale so as to vote them in for another 5 years of blood sucking?

      I for one, can see through their greed but can anyone else see the same similar cycle of deceit from them?

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  8. One word to describe the "generosity" of the rich to the bottom feeders

    HUMILIATION

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  9. Even if we disregard how much more (more and more) the top 20% earned, and how much more the ministers and their sidekicks civil servants (sorry masters), and ass kissers like Chandra Das earned (the last one is easy, a good class bungalow and numerous directorships, juicy juicy even though that farmer never finished his schooling and certainly less qualified than Mr Chiam or Dr Chee) over the same period, we should look at real income relative to real expenses. A 4 rm HDB cost less than $10k in 1970, today its $200k, ion, it will be far more than the 6 times increase in income. Someone please ask the alternative parties to set up a basic research data centre, or just collect some of the comments from blogs, they will have ample ammo to make the election rallies feel more "substantial".

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  10. For every $1 "handed out" to Singaporeans;
    How many dollars given out to Aliens and Alien students?

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  11. Lee & Lee made roaring business in HDB standard legal documentation. Then PM salary at $3500, and forgoing pay rise...was another "class" act.
    Singapore laborer pay went up (4 times) from $300 in 1970 to $1200.
    in 2015. HDB 3-rm flat sale price went up (22.5 times) from $8,000 in 1970 to $180,000.
    Tharman is truly an "Economist".

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    Replies
    1. Tharman is definitely economic with the truth.

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  12. Meritocracy my foot!

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  13. Robbing Hood2/24/2015 11:24 PM

    Woohoo...from Butterfly Lovers to Robinhood Fables.

    HUAT AH!!!

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  14. Shrek the Sheep2/25/2015 12:02 AM

    //You can expect that more will be creamed off from the sheep in this year of the goat.//

    Interestingly, ST has an article on how maggots can be valuable and useful for hospitals like TTSH, on the same day the Budget is revealed.

    Moral of the story?

    Sheeple can get maggots on their ever growing wool and turn it into something beneficial for healthcare, on top of getting sheared every year to make suits for your peanut-butter-eating 200 pounds Gorillas who are constantly thumping on their chest that they are not peanuts eating monkeys.

    ST has just outdone themselves.

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  15. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the sexiest virtual strippers on my desktop.

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