01 March 2011

GST, inequality and regressive taxes: A Model Answer

Joseph Henry Greene is part of the Citibank team headed by Johan van Oenen that made Goh Keng Swee and Singapore its first billions, betting the US dollar against the British pound. The team subsequently recommended that Dr Goh develop Singapore as a finance hub servicing the "Asian dollar market".

Here is Joseph Henry Greene on the subject of the GST just when the consumption tax was about to be set in place:
This sales tax which is coming on is regressive. Why the government would have a sales tax – which is regressive – at a time like this? It won’t hurt the people at the moment but if there should be any trouble in the future, it’s going to make the disparity between the very wealthy and the average working class of Singapore... It will cause a strain and it will exacerbate.

(Economic development of Singapore, Interview with Joseph Henry Greene. National Archives, Oral History Centre. 1994)

Here is a member of the economic literati telling you the GST is a regressive tax. Listen to him instead of the PAP clown show.

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