This is the table I distributed in Parliament during my Budget speech. It shows that we are drawing on the Reserves to fund our spending programs. There are a couple of points to note:
1. For FY2000, we introduced Net Investment Income (NII), which enabled us to spend 50% of returns, and that contributed S$2.287b to our spending power.
2. For FY2009, we changed to the Net Investment Returns (NIR) formula, which includes projected long-term returns. That boosted current spending power considerably – from S$7.006b for FY2009 to $8.943b for FY2015.
So, the allegation that we are hoarding the Reserves is not accurate. We are spending in a way that maintains a fair balance between using the Reserves for the current generation, and setting aside monies for future generations.
More importantly, we should never forget that we are only able to draw on our Reserves today because our parents’ and grandparents’ generation set aside monies for us. Surely, we should do the same for our children.
Singapore Budget 2015
There is no such thing as a free lunch: Hri Kumar
It is important to discuss the consequences of “doing more”, said MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Hri Kumar Nair in the Budget Debate on Tuesday (Mar 3).
He said everyone agrees there is no such thing as a free lunch, but tend to forget this when asking the Government to spend more. Every additional dollar spent today simply means more than a dollar less for the future, he added.
There is also a pressing need to talk about the Government’s limits, and to make clear where the Government’s responsibility ends and the responsibility of individuals begins.