I fear the Spud is confused here

Why becoming a tax haven would be bad news for Britain

No wonder 82% of all Singaporeans live in state-owned housing, most of which is flats.

Spud, is, is he not, the one who keeps saying that there must be much more social housing?

Something which it appears tax havens can provide?

8 Many tax havens have a staggering debt problem
Running a tax haven is expensive. Local people have to be kept happy and that costs money, which these places don’t have. Singapore has national debt of more than 100% of GDP, which is much more than the UK.

Doesn’t Spud tell us that there should be much more government debt? And from the Singapore page on this:

Is it fiscally sustainable for Singapore to have such a high level of debt?

The answer is ‘Yes’.This situation is fiscally sustainable. This is because these reports only look at gross debt. Taking into account our assets, we have in fact no net debt

In Singapore’s case, we do not borrow to spend. We instead invest all borrowing proceeds. All borrowings are thus backed by assets. What we earn in investment income from our assets is more than sufficient to cover the debt servicing costs. The Singapore Government in fact has a strong balance sheet with assets well in excess of our liabilities.

That’s the Curajus State in action isn’t it? Government borrowing to invest in the economy?

18 comments on “I fear the Spud is confused here

  1. About one in seven Singaporeans are millionaires in dollar terms. They are significantly richer than British people are.

    Quite good for a country that was poorer than Congo at independence.

  2. Ah, no, you’re missing the point. Spud has had no input on what Singapore does so that is ‘bad’. For things to be ‘good’ they must be done the Spud way.

    To him, a Spud organised shambles is much better than anything well organised that he had nothing to do with.

    Of course the sad thing is that the clapping seals* who read spud’s blog are only interested in reading confirmatory bias to the bonkers ideas they already hold and so will lap this up.

    *I refer, of course, to a cooperating pair of seals.

  3. In 98% of situations Murphy knows he can use the “public housing is good” statement to win support from his supporters. He also realises in some cases it can be used as a pejorative, so happily uses it here.

    Use an argument, then discard it, then argue the opposite, then discard that, all depending on what the specific requirements of that exact moment are.

  4. Rob,

    It’s a tried, tested and successful process in the right hands, as 650 MPs will attest.

  5. One in seven Singaporeans are dollar millionaires as the housing costs are astronomical and shot up. This is the same as the UK but on steroids.

    In Holland Village where we rent a place the apartments are a million pounds for something quite average. The expensive stuff is astronomical.

    Mind you the country became rich by not following the rules that were set out by Spud. It doesn’t have state pensions, state healthcare, taxes or spend on stuff except as a way of improving its competitiveness or citizens well being. Charity is important here which, along with self reliance, means the state doesn’t aim to prop everyone up just those right at the bottom. Everyone else has to work.

    Started my wife’s tax return yesterday. Six boxes to complete, two of which are pre-filled. The others we leave empty as the don’t matter. Takes about 10 minutes.

  6. In Singapore’s case, we do not borrow to spend. We instead invest all borrowing proceeds. All borrowings are thus backed by assets. What we earn in investment income from our assets is more than sufficient to cover the debt servicing costs. The Singapore Government in fact has a strong balance sheet with assets well in excess of our liabilities.

    Actually that is a seriously worrying statement. The Singaporean government is borrowing money in order to invest it? They already get 40% of the income for the Lee family to invest as they please – a hidden form of taxation. They need to also borrow 100% of GDP? Why? What business is investment for the Singaporean government? How does throwing your opponents in prison without trial and getting elected with 99% of the voter translate into knowing anything about investment?

  7. The British government repeatedly tells us that it is only borrowing to invest. For example “investing in elderly care”, “investing in hospitals”, etc. I assume Singapore’s claims are along similar lines?

  8. “82% of all Singaporeans live in state-owned housing”

    Almost all the freeholds in Singapore are owned by the state, which sells relatively short leaseholds. That’s why taxes on productivity are so low, because they collect land rents instead.

    This goes some way towards explaining by 82% of all Singaporeans live in state-owned housing.

  9. Andrew M;

    What we earn in investment income from our assets is more than sufficient to cover the debt servicing costs

    Probably not.

  10. Andrew M – “The British government repeatedly tells us that it is only borrowing to invest. For example “investing in elderly care”, “investing in hospitals”, etc.”

    Can we sell the elderly? If not, it is not an investment.

  11. Started my wife’s tax return yesterday. Six boxes to complete, two of which are pre-filled. The others we leave empty as the don’t matter. Takes about 10 minutes.

    That alone probably qualifies it as a “Tax Haven” for Murphy.

  12. Putting two and two together, I presume Singapore’s income-producing assets consist largely of that 82% social housing? Seems like a land value tax in all but name.

  13. That article, even by guardian standards, is a fucking disgrace. An advert for Murphy’s latest Neo-imperialist, racist ramblings, full of blatant lies. And the gullible fuckwits commenting on it swallow his shit hook line and sinker.

  14. Oh and the other things about Singapore is the healthcare. My wife finally made me go and see the GP about my severe reaction to bread and any wheat or barley containing foods (or drinks so no more beer!).

    GP appointment as a walk-in at 9.30. Seen at 10am. Consultant appointment at 3pm. Bloods and a reluctant agreement for some endoscopy the next morning by 4pm.

    Turns out I haven’t got the most likely thing nor the next most likely thing. But the point is even with my new UK GP who is good I am still waiting to see a specialist in the Uk four months after referral. Actually I am still waiting for the letter confirming I will get an appointment.

    Singapore has self paid medical insurance and we have a 20% co-pay so I am down three hundred pounds…. but I would save that in tax every single week several times over if I worked here instead of the UK.

  15. “No wonder 82% of all Singaporeans live in state-owned housing”

    Home ownership rate amongst Singapore households is over 90%:
    http://www.singstat.gov.sg/statistics/latest-data#22

    So to get 82% state-owned he’s probably talking about the State owning the freehold, rather than anything like the council housing he so much loves (for everyone else).

    Singapore is a small place that has increased its land area by about 25% since independence, mostly through land reclamation. I would guess the government does most of that and hangs on to the freehold to recoup its money.

    It’s a sign of success, not of failure.

  16. Andrew – interesting info, thanks for sharing.

    20% co-pay @ £300, so the actual cost for a same-day GP appointment, blood tests, and an endoscopy is £1500?

  17. And as for housing there mostly being flats, of course it is; the place has over 5 million people in a space not much bigger than the Isle of Wight.

    It’s got the third highest population density in the world.

    By the time they’ve allowed space for important stuff like the airport, reservoirs and a cricket field, of course they’re mostly living in flats.

    Again, it’s a sign of success that such a small place has attracted so many people.

  18. Ah, here we are; all it needed was Wikipedia:

    “More than 80% of Singapore’s population live in HDB flats. HDB Flats in Singapore are sold on a 99-year lease agreement.”

    So it isn’t council housing, it’s government-owned freehold with the occupiers having a long lease.

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