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DPM Wong flags challenges in tracking wealth Inequality in Singapore

Deputy PM Lawrence Wong highlighted the challenges in accurately assessing wealth inequality, citing the diverse nature of assets and the complexities surrounding the valuation process, and instead emphasized the government’s proactive use of wealth taxes like stamp duties and property tax to address the issue.

This came in response to PQ filed by WP MP Louise Chua, who asked the Minister whether the Singapore Government tracks wealth inequality in Singapore and whether there is data on these indicators over the last ten years.



SINGAPORE: Lawrence Wong, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance acknowledged that the Singaporean government faces limitations in its ability to precisely gauge wealth inequality.

However, this has not hindered the implementation of progressive measures aimed at addressing this concern, including leveraged wealth taxes, such as stamp duties, property tax, and the Additional Registration Fee (ARF) for motor vehicles, to mitigate wealth disparity, he said.

Mr Wong was responding to a Parliamentary Question filed by Mr Louis Chua, Workers’ Party MP for Sengkang GRC on Tuesday (7 Nov).

Mr Chua asked DPM Wong whether the Singapore Government tracks wealth inequality in Singapore; if so, what indicators are used to track wealth inequality; and whether there is data on these indicators over the last ten years.

In a written reply, Mr Wong shed light on the complexities involved in accurately measuring and monitoring wealth disparity in the country.

“Wealth is difficult to track comprehensively as it takes many different forms, including assets that are not publicly traded and thus, difficult to value. ”

“In addition, financial wealth is highly mobile across borders, and bank deposit data is protected by the Banking Secrecy Act. ”

“For these reasons, the Government is not able to measure and track wealth inequality accurately, ” he said.

Nevertheless, he said the government have been proactively putting measures in place to address wealth inequality.

He emphasized that over the years, the government has consistently fine-tuned wealth taxes, such as stamp duties, property tax, and the ARF for motor vehicles, to adopt a more progressive approach.

Recent revisions in Budgets 2022 and 2023 include heightened Buyer’s Stamp Duty rates for high-value properties and increased property tax rates for both non-owner-occupied and higher-value owner-occupied residential properties.

Additionally, the ARF for luxury vehicles has also been raised, signalling the government’s commitment to promoting a more equitable distribution of wealth.

Mr Wong noted that beyond these fiscal measures, the government has focused on fostering an environment conducive to wealth accumulation for all Singaporeans.

“We invest in and support Singaporeans in the essential areas of education, jobs, housing, and retirement, to help them secure good jobs and accumulate wealth over their lifetime. ”

“For instance, our CPF system enables Singaporeans to grow their savings, with higher interest rates for lower balances and additional government support to the lower-income, through schemes like Workfare and the Matched Retirement Savings Scheme. ”

He added that Housing subsidies have also been instrumental in providing robust assistance to less affluent segments of society in their quest for homeownership.

” Our investments and support in these areas position all Singaporeans to be part of the country’s growth, regardless of their backgrounds, with more support for those with less, ” Mr Wong concluded.

DPM Wong acknowledges challenges in incorporating non-work income in Singapore’s Gini Coefficient calculation

Separately, Mr Chua also sought clarification from the Minister of Finance on Singapore’s Gini coefficient over the past decade, encompassing both pre- and post-tax scenarios, with a focus on household income derived from various sources, including work and non-work related avenues like investments and property.

In response, Mr Wong said the Department of Statistics publishes Singapore’s Gini coefficients based on household income from work before and after taxes and transfers annually.

However, he noted that It is more challenging to include non-work income as such data are more prone to under-reporting and measurement errors.

“This is why the Department of Statistics has thus far not included such data in its computation of the Gini coefficient.”

“The Government will continue to explore ways to better measure household incomes. Regardless of the measurement issues, our approach remains to keep our social support measures progressive and targeted at the lower and middle-income households, ” Mr Wong said.

WP chief warns of ‘Two Singapore’ during Budget 2023 debate, urges action against inequality

During the debate on Budget 2023 in February, Mr Pritam Singh, Leader of the Opposition and WP Cheid, raised concerns about the potential emergence of “two Singapores” and emphasized the need for policies that fight against inequality.

Mr Singh raised concerns about the potential emergence of “two Singapores,” where one is connected to the world as a hub economy, while the other is one where the majority of Singaporeans live, with perceptions of slowing social mobility and high housing prices.

Mr Singh cautioned that these two Singapores could easily become a reality that causes friction in society and accentuates cleavages.

The WP leader emphasized the need to combat inequality, proposing enhanced social protections and fiscal redistribution. He called for re-evaluation of CPF’s role in retirement planning and housing policies, urging a deep examination of land sales principles for public housing.

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To me this Lawless Wong do not come across as trustworthy or sincere. He mentioned that he is going to define his leadership by transparency but did not materialised. Maybe what he actually meant was piecemeal transparency. If things are against their party leaderships, then it is a no no kind of transparency like the Ridout case. Maybe what he meant was ownself check ownself type of transparency.

He is going to lead us further down the slippery slope if we are not already at the bottom.


They can’t/don’t even track the inequality between their million$ pay against that of other (developed countries) leaders, the latter managing much larger countries, economies, population, diverse issues and occasionally even natural disasters, for much smaller globally-scaled pay level. So pls don’t wayang about tracking wealth inequality here.

Looks like LawlanWong wouldn’t make as our next leader, except maybe throw smoke now and then.

He seems steadfast to take the easy way out not to review Pappy’s ingrained policy of creating more wealth for their own class of elites and encouraging the inflow of millionaires and billionaires who consider cash hungry Singapore as a very safe heaven to keep their “hard-earned “money beyond the reach of their authorities back home, while not concurrently to doing the right thing to raise the income levels of all Singaporeans.Don’t expect him to go against the trend set by you know who.To save his own skin,he just has to replay Pappy’s usual “taijis” and hope for the problems… Read more »

Punching above its weight is a blatant accepted lie to ownself praise ownself.

The rich and powerful has PAP Administration by the sruff of its neck – collection of data of the rich and the poor are the same, nothing is to be feared of to collect data from the rich – what challenging?

This Regime kow tow to rich and wealthy bcz of self believed POFMA able idea the former create jobs so cannot meddle with them and their wealth.

So it seems.

Already LawlanWong is making the first excuse for his Boss’s reign of Failures for SG over the past near 20 years. Guarantee there will be more excuses coming from him. Really worried for our next 1-2 generations.

Indeed !!!

Look at the FuJian gang !!!

But for literally “CommChinese” whispers, … this regime’d still be none the wiser !!!

Despite bank deposits, property purchases, vehicle purchases and whatever else, … they’re still blur like sotong and dumber than dumbo !!!

SillyPore is indeed Asia’s Sin City and Monies Laundering capital, … this side of the equator !!!

When there’s a Will THERE’S a Way. Still also A BETTER way is at the Ballot Box – then Sheegaporeans can see what scape goat challenges we are being told to buy and accept

This is called situational ethics.

When it suits the G, all manner of action is acceptable.

But when it is convenient, they become strangely prim and proper to follow the rules.

What LW has said is basically horse manure.

Grants do not help the poor because the land costs for Public Housing shouldn’t be part of the sale price as it is built on State Land.

A few fellas which can safely described as a smallish family (perhaps about a SOCCER TEAM size) living in land sizes making up FEW SOCCER FIELD sizes BIG, that which, if flats are built upon, can accommodate 1000s of needy citizens, and together falling in line with PAP Administration policies of cramping old folks in small spaces, reasoning of tight land space, and, reserving land future, the numbers of which is MAGICALLY UNKNOWN OR CALCULATED into FRUITION – how is this PAP Administration managing land use, esp special treatment to their own rich, is it? Seemingly, there’s NO CONGRUENCY in… Read more »

Can anyone in the 70% identify parts of the answer that is gaslighted..??

Try this:

  1. COE/ARF and car ownership is already designed to exclude the poor
  2. Banking Secrecy Act not applicable in criminal cases and for investigation purposes
  3. Public housing subsidies exists because of land tied to reserves and valuation.

These have nothing to do with measuring income inequality.
It is the cause of it.

By shifting policies to enrich the top riches in SG by favouring them? A HDB flat is still a HDB flat after 30 or 40 years. But for many private property and commercial property owners, who are the richest in SG, you can see they get lots of perks to increase their asset values by leaps and bounds, further dividing the have and have not.

Just just GST increases while lowered company income tax to the lowest around, the poor will get higher cost of living and the low business tax, it benefit the richest most

Bloody lies one after another. Officially Loong made known his priorities, of being sacrificed to switch time off to fix opposition if Sheegaporeans vote them off. This CERTAINLY NOT SPOKEN LIGHTLY, and WAS OFFICIALLY should be his mission in politics (trying to make his priorities vague to SG?)

Then WHERE and WHERE is THEIR POLITICAL will to fix costs of living AND CLAM DOWN HARD on inequity?

Tons of excuses – no statistics for this, for that, bla bla LJ.

But but but, they were very quick to track who didn’t pay their IRAS and fine them even when they know you are not working. How ironic!?! They can even churn up your income …. But when come to tracking the wealth inequalities, they say they have PROBLEMO. Why ah?!?

When Pandemic arrive on the shore, they were equally quick to label Virus case everywhere and prevent ppl from access to basic necessities But But But when comes to tracking wealth inequalities, they say it is very Hard! Why ah?!?