Or more accurately, the Prime Minister’s lah.
Back in Sept 2015, when taking a swipe at Workers’ Party Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang for raising the possibility that GST could rise, this is what PM Lee Hsien Loong said:
“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…”
In the same coin, PM Lee also said:
“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.”
Those words have come back to haunt PM Lee as a GST hike to 9 percent was announced during yesterday’s Budget 2018 speech.
You know, because the internet never forgets.
This is state media The Newpaper’s report on PM Lee’s speech from Sept 2015
PM Lee quashes WP’s GST claim
6 Sept 2015
FOO JIE YING: 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?”