Goodness Gracious Straits Times: Don’t anyhow report on private wealth tax lei

Are we looking at the concept of those who have more, should pay more? This concept is easy to discuss but difficult to implement. Just read that Straits Times article – Heng Swee Keat’s comment leaves possibility of private wealth tax up in the air. How could the journalist take a joke so seriously?

What is private health tax?

Private wealth tax refers to taxes imposed on the wealth of individuals, like property or inherited assets.

Incorrect Report

In an off-the-cuff remarks made before his speech at the official opening of the new premises of the Nanyang Technological University’s Wealth Management Institute, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat recalled a question posed to him.

He told the audience on Thursday that he had made the case on how Singapore’s reserves were used in times of need such as the Global Financial Crisis as bank guarantees, which led to the continued stability of the Singapore dollar and economic growth.

Mr Heng joked: “I don’t know if the person who asked the question was someone from the wealth management industry who thought that I was thinking of taxing wealth and trying to divert me from doing that. Unfortunately he had the opposite effect.

“I had a few people come up to me after that and said: ‘Minister Heng, I’m convinced you don’t touch sovereign wealth, but what about private wealth’?”

This led to speculation of tax on privately held wealth.

Why is the report incorrect

Such a tax on personal or private wealth does not gel with the efforts the Government has put it to develop Singapore into a premier hub for wealth management; and also efforts to make Singapore into a FinTech hub. With an increase in private wealth tax, why would foreign investors be attracted to work and live in Singapore.

Straits Times got it wrong and left her thinking cap somewhere. Cannot anyhow joke with reporters 😦

OS

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