Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Negative Calculus of Foreign Talent

Shocking Fact: Only 1.7% of foreigners working in Singapore pay taxes.

The rest of the 98.3% are here freeloading off our economic infrastructure to earn a living without contributing a cent to the public purse.

These freeloaders are leeching off our transportation, healthcare, housing, education and national defence. Not only are they not paying a cent in taxes, they are the cause of massive negative externalities the economy and society.

The overloading of the transportation system is causing it to break down with alarming regularity, disrupting economic activity and being a drag on productivity.

The overloading of the housing system is causing living space to be more expensive, smaller and to be built in poorer locations than before.

Hospital queues and waiting times are longer, medical wards are packed, doctors are more stressed out, and healthcare costs are skyrocketing.

Foreign scholars are the worst in the negative calculus. They cost $175,000 a pop to subsidise their education. On top of that they deny locals a place in university. The taxes they pay after graduation hardly come close to paying for their education, and many of them leave for greener pastures at the first whiff of a better opportunity.

And don't even get me started about the cost of national defence. The personal cost ot each Singaporean male to defend this country can't even come close to the so-called benefits generated by foreign talent.

So tell me, how is this madness of an immigration policy justified, given that it scores a big fat F when you put the sums together?


so1trg said...

Where did u get your facts from? Just to be very sure we r accusing the right target.

Chee Wai Lee said...

Where are you getting this information from? This number of 1.3% just screams out to be properly scrutinized and contextualized.

utwt said...

Here. This number was quoted by Prof Lim Chong Yah

Chee Wai Lee said...

I'll bring that quote into the comment stream:

"In 1991, our nonresident
labour force was 300,800.This shot up to 686,200 in 2001 and to 1,157,000 in 2011. Of this foreign labour population, only 1.7% earned high enough that they are legally obliged topay income tax. Do we need a wage shock‐therapy, or ERII?"

A few things of note:


Accordingly, this means only 19,669 of that workforce earns more than $20,000 a year. I didn't think we had so few foreign professionals in Singapore. I'm guessing these were all counted as the resident workforce rather than nonresident as Lim indicated.

2. If Lim had not misquoted and the numbers are sound, then I'm more inclined to be sympathetic to Lim's conclusions ... that we are seriously underpaying these million people (maids, construction workers etc ...) earning less than $1,667 a month.

3. I would argue that it is more of a case of Singapore as a country freeloading off their work and productivity than the other way around with their not paying of taxes. On income alone, they contribute a maximum of S$20b to Singapore's economy out of S$251b. I am inclined to believe the actual product of their labor contributes significantly more in economic value ...

Just some food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Another point to note, who do you think is paying the foreign worker and maid levies ? Is this a tax or what ? There is no free lunch as someone has decclared.

Anonymous said...

Just to correct your perception, the SME owners pay full medical fees for their foreign workers. There is no subsidy.

SingaporePR said...

This blog is simply atrocious.

Saying that it's OK to be openly xenophobic was bad enough, now this: complete misrepresentation of statistics.

Does it occur to you that a large number of foreigners are here on an Employment Permit that's less than 6 months, and therefore not liable for income taxes here? This is particularly the case for construction workers. You know, those guys working in dangerous conditions, sleeping in filthy dormitories and being sent back home after a few months, so that Singaporeans can enjoy the infrastructure they are too lazy to build?

Then, even for those who are here for a year, a vast majority get paid so lowly that they don't even reach the SGD 20,000 threshold triggering income tax. Case in point: the maids.

So before accusing foreigners of coming here to "leech on" Singaporeans, take a good, hard look in the mirror, and ask yourself if it's not Singapore that's leeching on the ability to exploit poor foreign workers to do the jobs that Singaporeans refuse to do.

Heck, you guys can't even carry your own bag to NS, your maid is doing it for you.

Anonymous said...

foreign talents's salary is lower than locals for the same job position.