Looking at the Budget speech the moment it was released, I all but fail to discern the excitement, breakthrough, generosity, and innovation of the budget, until the follow day when the newspaper wrote nothing but praise.
Reading the articles in depth yields nothing about the excitement nor revolution. It’s just a good Budget because it is the budget. Nothing else; nothing logically else. In fact, in my honest opinion, it’s one of the most stingy budgets relative to the economic situation.
Just look at the amount of help given to the layman in the streets. Nil, unless you’re past retirement age and live in a cheap small house, but that’s just a hundred or so bucks. Nil, even you’ve lost your job and can’t find anything yet, and still have a family to feed. Oh yeah, generous rebates in rents, but for a grand total of one month! WOW!
Some called for a temporary reduction of GST and other taxes to spur domestic demand, but only fierce resistance has been met, all in the name of ineffectiveness, claiming that rebates are more effective. Yeah right.
Believe it or not, S’pore defence budget up 6% in these trying times. “The government intends to spend $11.45 billion on defence during the 2009 fiscal year, the estimates showed”, up from “$10.8 billion ... in 2008”. That’s a S$65 million increase.
Ah so clearly, that’s where the reserves are going. Into the blackhole well characterised in this post.
From this, you can easily see the priorities of the ruling party. Needy citizens are certainly on a lower priority compared to businesses, military, and the government itself.