Budget – Why so little?
$6.6b with $3.2b angpows for the people were announced by Tharman in his budget speech yesterday. My immediate reaction is why so little? The Americans printed US$600b or nearly S$800b. This is roughly $2,600 per American. We are giving out about $1,000 per citizen. And we are so much richer than the Americans. They are in debt and we have a huge reserve and surpluses every year. We could do much more to help the people in a time when inflation is eating up the income of the people. In 2009, during the financial crisis, the Resilience Budget was $20b. This year we have a bumper harvest and only a $6.6b giveaway. Definitely not good enough. The few thousand dollars are spread too thinly and will disappear in no time. The most crucial issue is how to curb high inflation. Actually no lah, inflation only 3 to 4% according to the latest official reports, where got high. Why are the people complaining about such miniscule inflation? I am also scratching my head. The monthly inflation seemed to vary from 3 to 5% and the whole year inflation is only 3 to 4%. If one simply compound a 3% monthly inflation over 12 months, I am sure is it more than 4%. If really the annual inflation is 3 to 4%, and with income rising above 5%, there is real income growth for the individuals. In that case, the budget is actually a big bonus. There is no real need for an angpow budget and nothing to worry about. What is real? The cost of everything is still rising and unstoppable. This is the frightening part and no amount of angpows and handouts can do much if the outflow is faster and more than the income, angpows and handouts included.