Modern day Robin Hood?

By | April 13, 2007

It was reported that Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong will donate his pay increment of S$600,000 a year for the next five years to charity after Singaporeans became outraged by the recent ministerial pay hike. So does that make Lee Hsien Loong a modern day Robin Hood?

No. Unlike the real Robin Hood who robbed the rich to give to the poor, Lee Hsien Loong and his cronies in parliament are robbing everyone and returning only part of the loot to a selected group of poor people.

I’m not a mathematician, but someone calculated that this self-serving, unsustainable and illogical salary benchmarking exercise will cost Singaporean taxpayers $214 million, or about $50 per capita. This is absurd, because it means that Singaporean taxpayers are being forced to fund Lee Hsien Loong’s “charitable” donations.

Lee Hsien Loong says that his donation will give him the moral high ground to defend the move to raise the salaries of his fellow ministers. First, you don’t suddenly become moral by giving away money you obtained immorally. And least of all, you shouldn’t have done it after the fact – it’s akin to getting caught stealing and saying you’ll return the stolen goods.

Secondly, this “act” of giving is meaningless if the other ministers continue to hold on to their salary increases. Oh, by the way, is Lee Hsien Loong implying that the other ministers are on less moral ground to defend their own increases if they don’t follow suit?

Finally, did anyone question whether Lee Hsien Loong’s donations will be tax-deductible? Maybe that’s his creative way of avoiding taxes, if he’s taxed at all.

Compared to what Lee Hsien Loong and his father have done to boost their own fortunes, Halliburton looked like a mom-and-pop operation.

I am sure some useless minister with a sissy name from the PAP (yes, I’m referring to you, Vivian) will come out and urge Singaporeans to get on with their lives. But before these assholes spout nonsense again, may I remind them that to say “move on” without dealing with the consequences is the rudest form of political expediency.

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Anonymous

More like a Robbing Crook! Just shows how out of touch the self-centered PAP have become.

Insane Polygons
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Calculations Current salary: S$3.1 mil (Taxable income: S$3.1 mil)Increase by: S$600,000Donation to charity: S$600,000Double tax deduction allocated: S$1.2 milPrevious Salary: S$2.5 mil (Taxable income: S$2.5 mil)New Taxable Income: S$3.1 mil – S$1.2 mil = S$1.9 mil Using a gross personal income tax at a 20% rate (for the income bracket of S$320,000 and above) Gross income after tax previously, taxable income @ S$2.5 mil:Total amt after tax: S$2 mil With donation:Gross income after tax, taxable income @ S$1.9 mil:Gross income: S$3.1 milDonation to charity: S$0.6 milTax to be paid: S$0.38 milTotal amt after tax: S$2.12 mil Without donation:Gross income after… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Actually I have gained a measure of respect for him doing so. True, it would be good if the pay rise didn’t happen at all, but when does PAP ever listen to the people? But the fact that he chose to donate his pay increase says something. He could have gone “Nya nya nya, I’m still getting my pay and you idiots can’t do anything about that” in a diplomatic way, but he did donate, which he didn’t have to. Though the best thing for him to do is to just say that the people are being listened to and… Read more »

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Donating of increments still leaves LHL better off than before, after factoring in (1) tax-deductions, (2) influence gained through charity giving whether private or public. (1) Donating a $600,000 increase, means that $1,200,000 of the original salary becomes tax-deductible. Since LHL is at the maximum marginal tax rate of 20%, that means $240,000 of his original salary now remains in his pocket rather than going to IRAS. –> LHL gains an increase of 11.9% in post-tax income purely looking at his salary. (2) LHL’s public position of giving to charitable causes allows him influence over which causes get to progress,… Read more »

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Would you respect a mother who feed herself first before feeding her hungry and crying baby?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

The argument that people won’t join govt unless the pay is good when applied AFTER the people have joined govt knowing that the pay wasn’t going to be good, doesn’t make sense.

The argument can only be used to justify a pay raise for the NEXT cabinet.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

A review of PAP ministers’ performance 26 January 2004 MANINFLUXX Sammyboy‘s Alfresco Coffee Shop™ Forum 23 January 2004 Let’s review each individual minister’s performance in the past years and see what paying them millions of dollars of salaries have done. Goh Chok Tong His promise of a more compassionate and gracious society has fallen flat on its face. We continue to see ungracious behaviour in singapore. Leaving and entering MRT trains, impolite behaviour during ‘sales’ promotions, neighbours fighting each other, teenage fights, drunken brawls,children/siblings/family members hauling each other to courts to settle disputes. Even PAP ministers themselves have been guilty… Read more »

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