Vikram Nair attacks Chen Show Mao: Show me the money to invest in Singaporeans
Posted by temasektimes on March 1, 2012
Workers Party MP Chen Show Mao (Aljunied GRC) came under heavy fire from PAP MP Vikram Nair (Nee Soon GRC) during a parliamentary debate yesterday as the latter asked him repeatedly to show him the money to pay for the extra expenditure proposed in his Budget Speech.
Mr Chen had earlier called on the government to invest more in Singaporeans:
“To invest in Singaporeans is to invest in the future of Singapore. It has been said so many times and for so long that the only resource Singapore has is ourselves, that our most important capital is our human capital. Inclusive growth must be built on the growth of our human capital.”
However, Mr Vikram Nair accused Mr Chen and other WP MPs of scoring ‘political points’ by repeatedly asking the government to do more for vulnerable groups without acknowledging what had already been done, criticising him for not having a plan to pay for the extra spending he proposed.
“The one question I have is: what does Workers’ Party intend to do on the revenue side? Is it planning to raise taxes or eat into reserves to pay for all these additional programmes? Because I think the objectives are noble. I am just wondering how you balance it out…,” Mr Vikram Nair said.
He also insinuated that Mr Chen might not understand the reality on the ground as he just returned to Singapore. Mr Chen worked overseas for a number of years before returning to Singapore to contest in the general election last year.
”Let’s do more, let’s spend more,’ (they say), and, of course, they never talk of where this money is going to come from…I think many of us here have been working year in, year out, helping the vulnerable groups, and it is pretty hurtful coming from Mr Chen because he might have held this belief for a long time, but he came back only quite recently to help in this,” he added.
In response, Mr Chen said he is proposing that Singapore run a ‘deficit’ to fund additional social spending, but to “look at the numbers both on the revenue side and how much we hope to make in terms of investments to come to a solution.”
Read Mr Chen’s Budget Speech here.