Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) chief Chee Soon Juan has fired back at the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.
On Tuesday, Dr Balakrishan called the SDP’s policies “tax and spend” programmes that would bankrupt Singapore. He did not highlight a specific policy.
He also said his incumbent team in Holland-Bukit Timah Group Representation Constituency (GRC) would show during the hustings that the SDP has copied policy prescriptions that have failed elsewhere, as in Greece.
Speaking at a press conference on Sep 2, Dr Chee responded by saying that Dr Balakrishnan “should looking at his own party’s track record when he talks about policies of tax and spend”.
On the Greek comparison, the SDP’s Dr Paul Tambyah said, “The Greeks actually spend below the OECD average on healthcare and have levels of social spending far below the Nordic countries or even Germany. The reason for the Greek crisis is thought to be primarily a profligate approach to spending. This is quite different from the SDP proposals, which are well thought out and balanced. We do not believe in uncontrolled overspending.”
“It appears that the Minister has an incomplete understanding of the Greek crisis,” said Dr Tambyah.
Dr Chee also said that the PAP had criticised the SDP’s policies, and then adopted them later.
According to Dr Chee, these policies include a minimum wage model, the pooling of healthcare risks, and priority for Singaporeans when it comes to employment. On the latter, Chee said that the Government’s Fair Consideration Framework was an adoption of SDP’s proposal that employers must try to hire Singaporeans first, before considering employing foreigners.
“The PAP has a knee-jerk reaction that anything the SDP proposes cannot be good,” said Dr Chee.