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Netizens mock DPM Heng’s dismissal of concerns on Singaporeans’ reliance on Govt aid

DPM Heng rejects claims that 2024 budget support measures fosters dependence, stating no signs of excessive reliance. NCMP Hazel Poa earlier cautioned against majority relying on govt aid for living costs, deeming it unhealthy.



SINGAPORE: Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat refuted the notion that the support measures outlined in Budget 2024 aim to foster increased dependence on the Government among Singaporeans.

DPM Heng asserted that there is currently no indication of an excessive reliance on economic assistance within the populace.

Responding to inquiries during the Mandarin discussion titled “Survival And Challenges Singapore Faces In This Ever-changing World,” organized by the Teochew Federation on Monday (11 March), DPM Heng, who also holds the position of Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, addressed concerns raised by participants regarding the utilization of reserves during the pandemic to support citizens and businesses.

These concerns were accompanied by questions about the potential risk of fostering excessive dependency through the distribution of various forms of cash assistance and shopping vouchers.

In reply, DPM Heng, speaking in Mandarin, emphasized, “Many of our support measures are designed to encourage individuals to enhance their skills. As the proverb goes, ‘If you give a man a fish, it will last only one day. If you teach a man to fish, it will last forever.'”

“Some Government officers suggested a 10% GST Instead of 9%”

DPM Heng highlighted that certain countries, like the United States, are exploring the concept of “universal basic income,” where citizens receive a fixed amount of money regularly due to increasing automation replacing workers in specific sectors.

In contrast, Singapore’s approach is to focus on empowering the workforce with artificial intelligence (AI) skills.

Despite being a small economy, Singapore has demonstrated agility and resilience by swiftly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to DPM Heng.

Encouraging local companies to adopt a long-term perspective, DPM Heng emphasized, “No country’s economy is in a perpetual state of growth. What matters is the determination to foster growth.”

DPM Heng stressed the importance of prudence in utilizing the nation’s reserves, pointing out that some government officers have suggested raising the goods and services tax (GST) rate to 10% instead of 9% to generate more revenue for assisting the needy.

He countered this approach, stating, “This is not the way; we aim to build a compassionate society where those who can contribute, help the disadvantaged.”

Netizens voice concerns over escalating cost of living despite DPM Heng’s assurance on support measures

Despite DPM Heng’s assurance that support measures are not intended to increase Singaporeans’ reliance on the Government, many netizens have underscored the escalating cost of living, with a growing number already feeling the impact of the rising GST.

Commenting on the Facebook page of the Singapore state media, The Straits Times, a concerned netizen highlighted the repercussions of government policies on those in need, noting that in the past, individuals with low incomes were exempt from paying income tax.

However, the introduction of an additional GST now places the burden of this tax on individuals with low incomes, including those in families without any income.

The comment went on to provide an illustrative example of the rising cost of everyday items, such as coffee, emphasizing that while both the rich and the poor pay the same increased amount, the impact is disproportionately greater for those with lower incomes.

Netizen highlighting irony of citizens in wealthiest nation depending on GST for aid

A netizen derided DPM Heng’s statement as ironic, emphasizing the paradox of a significant number of citizens in the wealthiest nation globally relying on GST for assistance.

A sceptical comment questioned the sincerity of the “raising GST to aid the needy” rhetoric, pointing out that in reality, the government’s tax collection exceeds the funds allocated for assisting the needy.

The observation further highlights concerns about the government’s expanding size, increased power, and the growing expenses required to sustain it, alluding to a situation where the priorities and effectiveness of the allocated funds are under scrutiny.

Additional comments expressed worries about whether DPM Heng’s statements hint at a potential future hike in GST.

Caution was advised, considering the potential burden this may place on the everyday lives of people on the ground.

A comment criticized the minister, suggesting a lack of comprehensive understanding regarding the impact of the GST on the general population.

The comment pointed out widespread negative consequences, such as increased bankruptcies and closures of shops and businesses. Even coffee shop stalls, traditionally vibrant, are reportedly vacant and unrented.

“Think you need to go to the grassroots level to actually see it with your own eyes,” the comment told DPM Heng.

NCMP Hazel Poa raises concerns over majority relying on Government grants for living costs, deeming it an unhealthy situation

In fact, during the Budget 2024 debate on 26 February,  Hazel Poa, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP), has already cautioned against a situation where the majority of the population depends on government assistance to manage the cost of living, deeming it inherently unhealthy.

While acknowledging the government’s current efforts in aiding Singaporeans with GST and cost of living increases through cash grants, rebates, and vouchers, Ms Poa highlighted that a significant portion of the population has become reliant on these government handouts.

Acknowledging the support measures outlined in Budget 2024, as announced by Deputy Prime Minister Wong on 16 February, with no additional major tax increases disclosed, Ms Poa cautioned that while short-term support is appreciated, the PSP maintains that these measures do not provide long-term solutions addressing the root causes of the rising cost of living.

“In any society there will always be people with different income levels and it is normal for government to give grants to the lower income families.”

“But if the bulk of the population need government handouts to cope with cost of living, then that cannot be a healthy situation, ” she cautioned.

Ms Poa suggested that Singapore should be cautious about the normalization of the idea that it’s common for the majority of the population to receive government handouts.

“It may be the easier route to provide handouts to cope with the cost of living, but we must focus on taking steps to keep costs in check. ”

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Give 2 chicken wings can foster dependence ah?
But take back 2 whole chickens!!
What kind of weed is Heng smoking?
Or is the after effects of that stroke that had permanently damaged his brain ,that he will now only know how to talk cock and sing song?
With such a ‘damaged brain’ why the hell is Heng still in this job?
Must be the over dependence of ah Loong on him?😆😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣

Please declare a living wage and bring costs down. We don’t need you if you create revenue by increasing taxes targeting the resident population and claim that it is to benefit us. You should be increasing taxes to foreigners and foreign entities to support us. It should not be the reversal.

Heng’s political career might have apparently ended after he fumbled in parliament and subsequent relinquish his position of Finance Minister.He may any time before the impending GE announce his retirement from politics to spend more time with his family and loved ones ; thereafter write a book just as what his predecessors did.As usual he would mostly likely be parachuted to helm one of the cosy and well paid job at GLCs or some big Govt agencies.

First, heng is just regurgitating what lee hsien loong bluffed us in the initial 3% gst : “raising gst to help the poor”??? hahaha! Can’t he be more creative than that??? Then came heng’s east coast, east coast plan, east coast plan and he got the lowest vote count that fateful erection. Lee was so pissed off with heng’s abysmally poor, lousy performance in pariahment trying hard in vain to tekkan the opposition but merely reading script, yet can’t find the right page. Don’t we remember his such poor performance that evening that lee’s body language was oozing all the… Read more »

“,Let me assure everyone: We will always have your backs,” Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister…”

Yeah right…more like stabbing us in the back every chance they get..

1) “A sceptical comment questioned the sincerity of the “raising GST to aid the needy”rhetoric, pointing out that in reality, the government’s tax collection exceeds the funds allocated for assisting the needy” Comment: we all know this excuse is pure rubbish. This is the kind of condescending attitude that riles me. Does the G think we are so stupid that we will fall for their excuse? 2) “Additional comments expressed worries about whether DPM Heng’s statements hint at a potential future hike in GST” Comment : of course there will be further hikes. Lawrence Wong already gave the hint. He… Read more »

No we do not need a fish neither do we need you to teach us how to fish.

You call yourself coordinating economist, what we really need is for you to do your JOB and that is bringing INFLATION and COL down!

This is your job which pays $millions, NOTHING ELSE!

Mr East Coast plan a together Singapore plan opened his mouth again. Just like a garbage truck, nothing came out except garbage.

The PAP Administration is actively and intentionally fostering and festering the impression on people they are a giving Administration.

This actually easily detected by people if only they have critical thinking beyond the surface of enticing political speeches.

Their modus operandi is starve pple of excesses, crimp them, by fiscal means or by laws, for eg. restrictive CPF WD policies -STRICT narrow criteria of freedom of usages WHICH IS ACTUALLY a PAP Stranglehold – GST increases, and then release the Moneys Raided from State Reserves to return to people.

This is Pure PAP Psychology intended as DECEPTION of the ignorant

This must be Ah Heng’s GE2024 “plan”. GST of 10% is ALREADY baked into the plan come 2031. If you truly want to build a “compassionate” society, those officers who “humanely euthanised” 26 wild chickens supposedly because Singapore does not have enough space for them SHOULD have been “humanely” FIRED for LYING to parliament.

Say what they like, based on ‘sources, experts, analysts’ of which they have assess to.

No one can debate logic, debate facts with them.

Within is NOT INSIDE – even the AG also cannot decide to prosecute.

[He countered this approach, stating, “This is not the way; we aim to build a compassionate society where those who can contribute, help the disadvantaged.”] The above statement is a conniving piece of wisdom which goes undetected by most people. It is one of the main causes of ever rising costs of living and strangulation of the masses but stupidly the masses buy it and of course the elites and rich support it because they are the ultimate beneficiary of its “generosity” It is simply amassing riches from taxes and revenues from the masses with the left hand and giving… Read more »

Published by Sg Prostitute House 🧐

Snow and Show is just a letter difference …

Then they can bring in and fit into their storyline “the Hunger Game” where the overlord offer you a bread shop for slavery terms … No?!? Ask President Snow!!!

And that Heng in SK open up so many Loti Tiam … So I presume Loti Tiam is all state own?!? Or Private alliance own?!? While he is the overlords and those wanna open Loti Tiam must go through the overlords ….

Ask Loong ago. Why need 1 PM who refuse to retire and 2 DPM. Well Loong and Republican alliance while Heng and China alliance and Wong with the Democratic alliance. No?!? Their Empire game that goes on and on finding scapegoats!!!

You forget to add. They hide behind all the state own corps and their talents to be overlord Forever. No?!?

This is how the white termite colony controls all people in Singapore. They give us the fearssssss. They make majority of us without spare money. So the people has to rely on government aids to live. They don’t give us decent jobs to earn a living so that we don’t need to rely on government aids. They make housings, studies, vehicles, marriage, foods, giving births and etc expensive, so that the people will owe money for their rest of their lives slogging for more money to pay and no time to think to make a change in this country. They… Read more »

Aiyoh! East coast east coast man is still around, doing what? Nothing much but making motherhood statements?

Life is good. Getting fat pay and looking pinky doing fcuk off