PM Lee quashes WP's GST claim

PM Lee quashes WP's GST claim
PHOTO: Lianhe Zaobao

Rubbishing claims that the People's Action Party (PAP) would reverse policies if they had a strong mandate, its secretary-general, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (right), said yesterday that the Government "did not play such games with voters".

He was referring to Workers' Party chief Low Thia Khiang's comments at his party's Friday night rally that the PAP could change "its mind anytime".

Mr Low had raised the possibility of an increase in the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Speaking at the ruling party's headquarters, PM Lee said: "I think it's a strange psychology to think that this is a government which is only dying to do bad things to people... Do we look like that?

"Here we are, trying to do the best and needing support. And I would turn the argument and say, be careful if they give more votes to the WP.

"WP will become even more arrogant and oppressive over the rest of the parties as they are already so."


On the GST, he said the PAP would be "mad" to raise taxes just because it had garnered a certain percentage of the votes.

"Raising, adjusting taxes is a very big decision. You consider it carefully, you discuss it thoroughly, and you do it only when you absolutely have to.

"What will make you need to raise GST? Profligate spending and irresponsible, unsustainable plans. That is what will hurt and require you to raise taxes and GST."

He noted that the opposition party manifestos had plans to give money to various groups, but had little to say about how the spending would be financed.

"So I think when you see a manifesto like that, that's when you must ask, where's the money coming from?"

The press conference, held midway through the hustings, was meant to be a stock-taking of the party's campaign so far.

The response to the PAP candidates' house visits and rallies have been positive, he noted, adding that people have also understood that to be the government of Singapore, leaders must demonstrate their capabilities, and also run their town councils well.

The Sept 11 general election is about Singapore's future, choosing the government and leadership. He reiterated that the election was about the need to elect the right people to government.

"Government is not something that's just up there but it's made up of people who make it work," he said.

Apart from people and integrity, PM Lee pointed out that it is also about vision and plans for the future, and whether the PAP can deliver.

Adding that he is grateful that people have supported the PAP's effort in directly involving and engaging them to address their concerns and aspirations, he said: "I have no need for intermediaries, no need for co-drivers, just the people working directly with the PAP and our team."

He urged Singaporeans to compare the candidates, "compare them for the quality of the person, the integrity of character, commitment to serve", and to "vote in good conscience".

"With (your mandate), we will be able to make the next 50 years an upward path as the last 50 years have been."

This article was first published on September 6, 2015.
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