You cannot get more populist than this.
RP secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam, who is leading the team for West Coast GRC, sought to defend his party’s proposal to give cash handouts to the young and the old, a day after Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam ridiculed the Opposition’s promise that they can dole out cash without having to raise taxes.
The RP wants to give a S$500 monthly pension for those aged 65 and above, and a S$300 monthly benefit to children up to the age of 18.
Estimating the total cost of these measures to be around S$6 billion a year, which would be “considerably lower … if we could restrict this to the bottom 60 per cent of the income distribution”, Mr Jeyaretnam said: “We can easily finance our spending programmes if the Net Investment Returns Contribution are used for current spending.”
Under the Net Investment Returns framework, the Government can spend up to 50 per cent of the long-term expected real return from the net assets managed by sovereign wealth fund GIC and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and up to 50 per cent of the net investment income from Temasek and other assets.