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Will Singapore 2013 Budget Promote ‘Inclusive Society'?

Singapore’s 2013 budget certainly tries to give Singaporeans what they have been clamoring for: Stricter limits on foreign labour, carrots and sticks to increase local productivity, a more progressive tax structure, more measures to cool house and car prices. Through the budget, the government wants to establish a more ‘inclusive society’:

A Better Singapore

We are transforming our economy so that we can have

Quality Growth – growth that will provide all Singaporeans a better quality of life.
And we are taking further steps towards a more Inclusive Society – starting with our children, helping lower income workers, and providing better lives for our retirees

Singapore 2013 Budget

Singapore 2013 Budget

Marketdecoder presents a succinct summary of the budget which critics say is infused with populist programs. Meanwhile, Roy takes a step back and examines the macro-political impact of these giveaways.  He says:

The other way to look at Budget 2013 is to look at it as a corrective budget.

… Budget 2013 is the start of a series of evolutionary budgets which will be aimed at correcting the missteps by the Singapore government of the economy over the past 10 years or so.

It’s clear that some of the budget initiatives are aimed at the Singapore property market, which has been in a bit of a bubble lately, with house prices increasing much faster than income.

Many are worried that their asset prices will fall as a result of the new property tax initiatives. However, Natasha Goh produces a detailed analysis about the impact of the budget on real estate:

Some analysts also talk about the increase in supply of rental units due to the abolishment of property tax concessions on vacant properties. While I think there might be some increase, I don’t think the numbers will be significant.

Signs of Struggle lists some of the recommendations of parliament members:

Janil Puthucheary (PAP) recommended that free public transport rides be given at off peak hours to try and change commuter behaviour and reduce peak load.

Irene Ng (PAP) asked that respect for all people be shown by recognising a “living wage” level at which a wage is considered fair.

Christopher de Souza (PAP) asked for the preschool sector to be nationalised, pushing against the tide of the G trying to privatise everything.

andyxianwong sees ‘structural flaws’ in the proposal:

To see the government claiming this as a progressive and inclusive budget when it suffers from a number of structural flaws is troubling. It is particularly worrying to see the government embracing expensive, short-sighted populist policies in the light of increasing political discontent…The fact that the budget also appears to pour money into already profitable government linked companies, some of which will inevitably return to the government at the end of the year, is also concerning. Why is it that government spending so often results in putting very little cash into the hands of those who need it most?

Arra's World reacts to the high allotment for the salaries of government officials:

My personal view is that I do not mind them politicians getting paid top dollar to run a country, god knows it is more difficult then running an MNC. I do mind paying mindless scholars with zero EQ the same amount. I also do mind that our policies haven't improved much. Lastly, I do mind that my children will have a hard time scrapping for a roof over their head regardless of the millions of dollars we had paid our politicians. Smells like an insurance scam.

  • http://twitter.com/RAFraudwha Rage Against Fraudy

    Companies ruined or almost ruined by imported Indian labor

    Adaptec – Indian CEO Subramanian Sundaresh fired.
    AIG (signed outsourcing deal in 2007 in Europe with Accenture Indian frauds, collapsed in 2009)
    AirBus (Qantas plane plunged 650 feet injuring passengers when its computer system written by India disengaged the auto-pilot).
    Apple – R&D CLOSED in India in 2006.
    Australia’s National Australia Bank (Outsourced jobs to India in 2007, nationwide ATM and account failure in late 2010).
    Bell Labs (Arun Netravalli took over, closed, turned into a shopping mall)
    Boeing Dreamliner ES software (written by HCL, banned by FAA)
    Bristol-Myers-Squibb (Trade Secrets and documents stolen in U.S. by Indian national guest worker)
    Caymas
    – Startup run by Indian CEO, French director of dev, Chinese tech lead.
    Closed after 5 years of sucking VC out of America.
    Caterpillar misses earnings a mere 4 months after outsourcing to India, Inc.
    Circuit City – Outsourced all IT to Indian-run IBM and went bankrupt shortly thereafter.
    ComAir
    crew system run by 100% Indian IT workers caused the 12/25/05 U.S.
    airport shutdown when they used a short int instead of a long int
    Computer Associates – Former CEO Sanjay Kumar, an Indian national, sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for accounting fraud.
    Deloitte
    – 2010 – this Indian-packed consulting company is being sued under RICO
    fraud charges by Marin Country, California for a failed solution.
    Dell – call center (closed in India)
    Delta call centers (closed in India)
    Fannie Mae – Hired large numbers of Indians, had to be bailed out. Indian logic bomb creator found guilty and sent to prison.
    GM – Was booming in 2006, signed $300 million outsourcing deal with Wipro that same year, went bankrupt 3 years later
    HP
    – Got out of the PC hardware business in 2011 and can’t compete with
    Apple’s tablets. HP was taken over by Indians and Chinese in 2001. So
    much for ‘Asian’ talent!
    HSBC ATMs (software taken over by Indians, failed in 2006)
    Intel Whitefield processor project (cancelled, Indian staff canned)
    JetStar
    Airways computer failure brings down Christchurch airport on 9/17/11.
    JetStar is owned by Quantas – which is know to have outsourced to India,
    Inc.
    Lehman (Spectramind software bought by Wipro, ruined, trashed by Indian programmers)
    Medicare – Defrauded by Indian national doctor Arun Sharma & wife in the U.S.
    Microsoft – Employs over 35,000 H-1Bs. Stock used to be $100. Today it’s lucky to be over $25. Not to mention that Vista thing.
    MIT Media Lab Asia (canceled)
    MyNines
    – A startup founded and run by Indian national Apar Kothari went belly
    up after throwing millions of America’s VC $ down the drain.
    PeopleSoft (Taken over by Indians in 2000, collapsed).
    PepsiCo – Slides from #1 to #3 during Indian CEO Indra Nooyi’ watch.
    Polycom – Former senior executive Sunil Bhalla charged with insider trading.
    Qantas – See AirBus above
    Quark (Alukah Kamar CEO, fired, lost 60% of its customers to Adobe because Indian-written QuarkExpress 6 was a failure)
    Rolls
    Royce (Sent aircraft engine work to India in 2006, engines delayed for
    Boeing 787, and failed on at least 2 Quantas planes in 2010, cost Rolls
    $500m).
    SAP – Same as Deloitte above in 2010.
    Singapore airlines (IT functions taken over in 2009 by TCS, website trashed in August, 2011)
    Skype (Madhu Yarlagadda fired)
    State of Indiana $867 million FAILED IBM project, IBM being sued
    State of Texas failed IBM project.
    Sun Micro (Taken over by Indian and Chinese workers in 2001, collapsed, had to be sold off to Oracle).
    UK’s NHS outsourced numerous jobs including health records to India in mid-2000 resulting in $26 billion over budget.
    Union Bank of California – Cancelled Finacle project run by India’s InfoSys in 2011.
    United – call center (closed in India)
    Victorian Order of Nurses, Canada (Payroll system screwed up by SAP/IBM in mid-2011)
    Virgin Atlantic (software written in India caused cloud IT failure)
    World Bank (Indian fraudsters BANNED for 3 years because they stole data).

    I could post the whole list here but I don’t want to crash any servers.

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