Petition for the GST rate to be capped at 9% permanently after Jan 1, 2024

Petition for the GST rate to be capped at 9% permanently after Jan 1, 2024

164 have signed. Let’s get to 200!
Petition to
all taxpayers and the government of Singapore

Why this petition matters

Started by Cyrus Adam

To all taxpayers and the government of Singapore,

This is a petition for the GST rate to be capped at 9% permanently after Jan 1, 2024.

I refer to (see below)

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Given sustained economic growth, we can achieve this with the 3% GST, without needing to raise the GST rate further. The GST rate will stay at 3% for at least 5 years and thereafter for as long as revenue needs are not pressing.

I refer to (see below)

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    Order for Second Reading read.

    The Minister for Finance (Dr Richard Hu Tsu Tau): Mr Speaker, Sir, I beg to move, "That the Bill be now read a Second time."

    The Goods and Services Tax Bill, as its name suggests, provides for the imposition and collection of the goods and services tax (GST). Government's proposal to introduce the GST as part of the tax restructuring to shift reliance from taxation on income to consumption has been explained in the White Paper on the GST. GST is introduced to enable us to lower our corporate and personal income taxes to promote enterprise and growth, and to make Singapore a more competitive place for doing business. It is not about raising more revenue. The proof of this is in the package of tax reductions, rebates and subsidies that I have announced in the Budget Statement to offset the GST. These measures will ensure that practically all households would not be worse off after the tax. Members of this House have debated on this package.

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    Singaporeans cannot be totally materialistic. We are human beings. We are, above all, Singaporeans. We must have a heart. We must care and we must show real concern for the less well-to-do. The whole thing about the GST is how it will affect the poorer people of Singapore in years to come. Now, we start off at a low rate of 3%, like Sweden in 1959, when they too had a rosy situation in respect of their economy. But after just 30 years, the GST rate in Sweden has escalated to a high of 24%. And whilst the GST rate has remained at 24%, its income tax rate has not come down. It remains at a high of 80%.


I propose that we cap the GST rate at 9% from and including 1 January 2024, permanently to avoid ending up like Sweden. Besides, GST was never about raising more revenue from the outset.

I refer to (see below)

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     Things are going to get tougher for the man-in-the-street this July when the GST increases to 7%. The Minister for Finance, when delivering his Budget speech this year, said that the GST increase this year was expected to raise "additional $750 million this year, and $1.4 billion per year going forward". This is money that is to come from the taxpayers' pocket.  It will be painful but necessary to reposition our economy.

     I can understand if this sum is needed to make the economy more competitive, for example, if the new revenue will allow us to cut corporate taxes so that more companies set up here, bringing jobs for Singaporeans. But how do we answer the man-in-the-street when he is told that about 1/4 to 1/3 of the expected revenue increase this year from GST is going to be the bill for the proposed Ministerial and civil service salary increases. I was told it is about $240 million. Many of those I spoke with now think that the key driver for a 2% GST increase was in fact to fund the salary revisions primarily for the civil service. This seriously undermines the Government's ability to make tough decisions and convince the public in future.


I refer to (see below)

It should come as no surprise to anyone that the Budget Statement of 2019 did not introduce any new taxes on wealth in Singapore nor raise the rates of the few existing wealth taxes.

We should also not be surprised if no Member of Parliament suggests raising taxes on wealth in the budget debate to follow. This is an indication of how dominant or hegemonic Singapore's pro-capital stance is — that even in a Budget that is presented as a socially progressive one, no one is likely to question the low taxes on wealth.

The missing debate on wealth taxes is not just curious, it is also unhealthy.

As Singapore ages and if economic growth slows, wealth inequality will become more pronounced even as the demands on social spending rise. It is therefore important to consider whether and how wealth in Singapore should be taxed.


Singapore is now growing at below 5 per cent, even as we expect the return on capital to be close to its historical average of 4-5 per cent. If we care about rising inequality at all, we should be taxing wealth — and therefore capital income — more.

Second, the ratio of capital income — that is, capital gains, dividends, interest and rental income — to labour income increases exponentially as one gets closer to the super-rich (e.g. the top 1 per cent) in the income distribution.

But the fact remains that capital income in Singapore is mostly not taxed, whereas labour income and consumption are. This makes the overall tax system less equitable than it should be.

The third argument for wealth taxes is the fact that in an economy that would be constantly disrupted by new technologies, we should expect inequality to increase.


The GST wealth distribution model is upwards – from the have-nots in the bottom 10% to the top 10% of the haves. Please sign and share this petition widely – there's still adequate time for the government of Singapore to react favourably to this petition if we can gather a large number of signatures before Jan 1, 2024.

164 have signed. Let’s get to 200!