22 May '11, 10am
What went wrong?: It also means having the ability to constantly stress-test our policies by subjecting them to
In my fourteen years in the Singapore government, I was either involved in the formulation of many of the policies that subsequently went awry or had a ringside seat to many of the deliberations in government that led to these policies. As a director in MOF from 2003 to 2005, I had a hand in a number of policies that seemed sensible at the time but which on hindsight created problems for the future – problems that Singaporeans are now experiencing. These included the great tax rebalancing of lowering income tax rates and raising GST rates (changes which made our tax system a lot less progressive); changes to the vehicle tax system that lowered the costs of owning a car and contributed significantly to congestion; the liberalization of foreign worker policies, especially the introduction of the ‘S’ pass; and the decision not to expand the MRT network ahead of demand. On the...