Wednesday, 16 January 2008

WPQ 23 October 2007: Net Investment Income

This PQ was filed in response to news coverage on how the Government had spent an average of S$2.8 billion a year over the past 5 years from our Net Investment Income, to help Singaporeans. I wanted to see if there was any pattern in the expenditures to suggest that the timing of expenditure was linked to elections, but I didn't see anything there.

WPQ

NET INVESTMENT INCOME
(Figures)

1. Mr Siew Kum Hong: To ask the Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of the average of $2.8 billion a year from the Net Investment Income spent by the Government over the past five years, how much was actually spent in each year and what were the items of expenditure on which that amount was spent.

Mr Lee Hsien Loong: Over the past five years, an average of $2.8 billion a year in Net Investment Income Contribution (NIIC) was taken into the budget to fund our primary deficits averaging $1.5b per year. The actual amounts ranged from $3.7b to $1.9b and are made public in the Budget Highlights.

FY02FY03FY04FY05FY06 (Revised)Average
NIIC ($m)3,6751,9003,0432,7772,8452,848
Primary Surplus/(Deficit) ($m)(1,683)(3,184)(1,487)(463)(549)(1,473)
Overall Budget Surplus/(Deficit) ($m)191(1,887)(105)1,486(1,284)(320)


Like other sources of revenue, the revenue from NIIC is not hypothecated to particular types of expenditure but is pooled to fund government expenditure as a whole.

Over the last 5 years, expenditures in the social and security sectors make up the bulk (average of 83%) of total government expenditures. These serve to provide a stable environment for growth, enhance the employability and potential of every Singaporean and build up their assets. Without the NIIC, we would not have been able to fund these expenditures while maintaining a regime of low direct taxes.

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