OCBC Treasury is saying Singapore’s FY2012 budget surplus may possibly be four times higher than initial estimate, a whopping $5 billion:
"Based on our estimates, the FY12 budget surplus could come in as high as $5b, which if it materializes would be about fourfold of the initial estimated FY12 budget position of $1.27b. This is potential testament to the fact that while headline GDP growth was very modest at 1.2% year-on-year last year, receipts have been buoyant for the year-to-date FY2012."
OCBC said top revenue generators remain corporate and personal income taxes and GST which accounted for nearly 55% of total operating revenue. But Certificate of Entitlement (COE) premiums have also risen significantly due to the quota cuts, and stamp duty receipts benefited from the strong rebound in the property market prices. Which explains why the Government continues to ignore calls to revamp the COE system, and take half-hearted measures to cool the over heated property market. Who cares if the people suffers, what matters most to them is that the Government coffers keeps swelling and busting its seams.
The surplus could also be attributed to the fact that monies budgeted for "social welfare" may not be fully disbursed. Take for instance, the part of the Enhanced Baby Bonus scheme whereby savings to a child’s Child Development Account (CDA) are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government for up to $6,000 each for the 1st and 2nd child, up to $12,000 each for the 3rd and 4th child, and up to $18,000 each from the 5th child onwards. For the lower income groups who struggle to maintain at least $1,000 in their bank account, they may never get to benefit from the largesse of the dollar-to-dollar offer. Recall one colorectal surgeon who once purportedly had only $10.50 in the joint account.
One again, while the rich gets richer, the poor is left lying in the dust. According to one man, this has been and will always be the case for Singapore.