In a rather critical article, the Wall Street Journal says our export-driven economy is “falling on its face” and the growth model which our government has embarked on “needs rethinking.”
The main criticisms seem to be our low consumption, the government’s risky bets on certain industries, and our over-reliance on the government:
“Singapore’s economy would be more resilient if it were better balanced. Consumption composes only about 40% of GDP — far less than other developed Asian economies, nearer to 55%. (The) budget doesn’t do much to change long-term incentives to consume.
… the city-state’s bureaucrats have a habit of trying to pick winners, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. In recent years the bets have been on financial services, biotechnology and gambling. (The) budget contained special tax incentives for the fund-management industry. Better to let private actors make those decisions based on market forces.
… The best help for Singaporeans would be expanded, permanent opportunities to work, save and invest with more of their own money, rather than relying on government to do it for them.“
BBC News also voices concerns about our wealth gap and, er, our government:
“… a huge wealth gap between the richest 10% and the rest is fast widening.
… When times were good, few questions were asked about how the wealth was distributed, or the lack of social safety net.
The next few years could be the biggest test ever faced by the Singapore government.“