Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Budget 2013: First Take

Click on pic to enlarge.

I was lamenting to myself for not putting up more of my thoughts for Budget 2012 because now I find it impossible to compare this one with last year's. In fact until I checked I was under the impression that I didn't blog about it at all.

As usual the Fin Min managed to make it look good except in the places which you are more interested and familiar to assess the impact.

Wifey and I were discussing this on the way to work this moring: the minimum wage versus the increase in workfare. I said, gotta to make some calculations which I am loathe to do because I need to pause and think how to do it.

Ah, Yeoh Lam Keong has done it and straightaway I could see how it is done. That is the difference between a much smarter and more experienced dude and me.

On 93.8 this morning, most calling in were talking about cars and houses in this budget. I learned not to expect too much from the program. At least they are the least bad of the alternatives.

Overall my quick impression of the budget is that it is mostly Band Aid although the government would like to call it tweaks in most places and revolutionary in others e.g., coercing productivity out of business.

Update: 12pm

Read Bertha Henson's take on my phone. I am going to shamelessly borrow it especially to compare against next year budget.

I have been too busy to think through this more deeply but off hand I sense slowly this government is being pulled by a ring to its nose to where it actually doesn't want to go: a creeping welfarism. Just because we make it look different and complicated compared to those in the West, we thought we are doing something different. A better way must be found to narrow the wealth gap. Like I had posted here before, our meritocracy isn't working. That's why I call all these measures to help this and that constituency Band Aid. It is bad to be philosophically vacuous and that is exactly where we have been landed since GCT took over.

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