04 Mar '12, 3pm

My eyebrows rose thrice, part 2: Low-income tax-payers hit jackpot #singapore

My eyebrows rose thrice, part 2: Low-income tax-payers hit jackpot #singapore

Within a space of slightly over two hours Friday night, two friends of mine mentioned Tharman Shanmugaratnam’s ‘pay one dollar, get four dollars’ sales pitch. “What do you think of that?” asked the latter of the two. I knew Singapore had become one of the gambling capitals of Asia, but it was still depressing to see our politics adopt the same mindset: If you pay taxes, you win! Clearly, that was not the point the finance minister was trying to make. I believe he was trying to show that the help lower- and middle-income Singaporeans were getting from the government exceeded what they paid in taxes, over a lifetime. But from the twinkle in my friends’ eyes as they repeated Tharman’s soundbite to me, I had the awful feeling it was received quite the wrong way. My eyebrows rose. I had seen that comment from Tharman in the morning’s edition of the newspaper, but the math didn’...

Full article: http://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2012/03/04/my-eyebrows-...

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