Clarification on Net Investment Returns Contributions

MP Leon Perera

Mr Leon Perera (Aljunied): Thank you, Mdm Deputy Speaker. Just a very quick clarification. I thank Mr Xie Yao Quan for his speech. I just wanted to ask a clarification on one point. Mr Xie said that we seek to leave behind something for the next generation and he spoke about the NIR ceiling, and he made a few very interesting points. I just wanted to ask him if he would acknowledge that if we have a 50% cap on the NIR contribution, that is, a cap of 50% that can be taken into the Budget every year, would the hon Member acknowledge that if we increase that cap from 50% to 60%, for example, there is still 40% that goes into the reserves and that gets compounded so that, therefore, you are not actually decreasing the reserves. You are just increasing the reserves at a slower rate and you still will leave behind something more to the next generation, because that amount gets compounded and compounded as the years go by. So, in other words, I am just asking is there anything magical, is there some special methodology that leads us to say that 50% is the Goldilocks zone, that it is exactly right, but 60% is irresponsible or 65% is irresponsible and so on. That is my clarification. Thank you.

Mdm Deputy Speaker: Mr Xie.

Mr Xie Yao Quan: Madam, I thank the Member for his clarification. I will keep this short in the interest of time. I listened to Prof Hoon Hian Teck yesterday and he spoke about every society having to find its own judgement about where is the sweet spot. And, so, to Mr Perera’s question, I think it is really a question of judgement. And if we look at the entire revenue mix, our NIRC rate now as it currently stands of 50/50 is, in my view, the right balance and we should look at other revenue levers in the first instance. Thank you.

1 March 2022

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