The Singapore Democrats will hold a press conference on Wednesday at 11 am at the Post-Mueum, 107-109 Rowell Road to launch our alternative to the Budget. Dr Vincent Wijeysingha will deliver Shadow Budget 2011: Empowering the Nation for the SDP.
This is the first time that the opposition is delivering a shadow budget to rival that of the PAP’s. It comes on the eve of the Finance Minister’s presentation of the Government’s Budget this Friday.
Members of the media have been invited to the press conference. The public are also welcome.
Dr Wijeysingha will outline the SDP’s priorities for the nation’s expenditure for FY2011. Shadow Budget 2011 will make proposals on how our national spending can be used to empower the people by making our economy a truly productive and resilient one.
It is one where the people’s needs are addressed and where economic growth benefits all sectors of the society equitably.
We eschew the PAP practice of taxing the people and making them pay beyond what they can afford, and then doles out ‘goodies’ in the hope of getting electoral support especially during an election year.
The PAP’s scheme is to force Singaporeans to continue our dependence on it as a dispenser of the largesse so that it can wield political and economic control over the people as well as glorify itself.
Unfortunately this has been done at the expense of our economic fundamentals. Our productivity level is low, the income gap is high and we cannot generate healthy economic returns without the massive injection of cheap labour from overseas.
Dr Wijeysingha will counter this dead-end approach by proposing measures that will lift the socio-economic conditions of Singaporeans, seeking to empower the people and allow them to truly enjoy the fruits of their labour.
For example one of the proposals is to allocate developmental expenditure to establish a committee under the Ministry of Manpower to look into implementing a Singaporeans First Policy where employers and businesses are required to demonstrate that the skills they want to hire are not available among Singaporeans before they are allowed to take in non-Singaporeans employees.
Such a practice is being adopted in other countries such as Australia and the UK. It will stem the PAP’s mindless policy of indiscriminately inviting foreign workers into Singapore to dispace Singaporean workers.
Another item of the Shadow Budget trims the bloated cabinet and the salaries of the ministers. In particular focus is the Prime Minister’s Office which is current staffed by seven ministers: The Minister Mentor, two Senior Ministers, two Deputy Prime Ministers, and two Ministers without portfolio.
These posts, which pay an annual salary of about $2 million to each minister, are redundant. These cabinet positions only signal the weak leadership of the current Prime Minister. If Mr Lee Hsien Loong cannot run his administration without the help of so many ministers in his office, he has no business running the country.
The removal of the ministerial posts from the PMO and the reduction of ministerial salaries across the board will free up about $30 million dollars. This will halve the expenditure for political appointees of $58 million for FY2010. These funds will be re-allocated for more productive use.
The Shadow Budget will be presented in full this Wednesday.
Jacob 69er: Video of Dr Wijeysingha’s speech at SDP’s It’s About You pre-election rally held at Hong Lim Park on 13th November 2010.