|As of 0953 hrs 23 Feb 2011|
But surely, the $110 savings from abolishing of radio and TV licence - just enough for transport and entrance fee for a trip to the casino - should put a smile on the glummest of faces. Except that it is also a rude reminder that every law abiding citizen who faithfully paid his dues has been ripped off for decades. Just like the Water Conservation Tax of 30% in our monthly utility bill - subject to GST - isn't that a tax upon tax?
The 1.5% to 2.5% reduction in progressive income tax rates that frees up cash in hand, instead of being buried in untouchable CPF accounts like the Medisave, should also be cause for celebration. Except that the beneficiaries of this group are also those worst hit by the regressive Goods and Services Tax. Those with chargeable incomes of $40,000 will see the maximum 35% tax saving of $350. Assuming a modest weekly grocery bill of $100, the GST paid out over a year will be $364. See - easy come, easy go. It's too depressing to compute the cost benefit analysis for those struggling on monthly paychecks of $2,000 or less (Hint:chargeable income of $20,000 attract no tax, and no budget savings). Worthy of note is that income tax estimated to be collected in 2011 is $19.6 billion, vis-à-vis GST to be harvested of $$8.4 billions. All we need is a little nudge to the GST rate, and you can wipe that smile off your face.
Watson has no soul, its banks of Power7 processors have special air-conditioning systems to keep it cold. Maybe the Ministry of Finance types are not much different. Which makes one wonder if Lee Kuan Yew actually shed tears at the 1965 press conference about the separation from Malaysia. Or was it because, to paraphrase Mark Zuckerberg's assessment of the Winkervoss' motives, "for the first time in their lives, things didn't work out the way they were supposed to for them"?