Foreign wealth widens inequality in Singapore - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English
"The influx of money is making Singapore one of the richest cities in the world. But the low tax rate also means no social security net, given the plummeting wages among the poor as foreigners take up blue-collar jobs" - [Link]
Some time back statistics released show that the average household income of Singapore Indians has increased significantly:
"Indians overtook Chinese as the ethnic group earning the highest income. Last year Indian household earned a median income of $5370. This compares with $5100 for Chinese families and $3844 for Malay families"
As a Singaporean, I thought "wow, this is fantastic" for our fellow Singaporeans to have made so much progress. Later I found out how this "progress" was achieved. Singapore opened its doors to wealthy Indians from India causing the average income of this ethnic group to go up. The "long time Indian Singaporean" did not make much progress in recent years and like all other Singaporeans suffered from the rising cost of living as Singapore became more crowded.
If we bring in rich people to the country, the rest of the population can benefit if the rich is properly taxed to provide a source of money for social spending or if they invest in businesses that create better paying jobs for Singaporeans. In Singapore our tax rate is very low and we do not tax wealth but income. A person shifting his wealth to Singapore pays very little in taxes and we attract wealthy people with the wrong motivation -many are because they want to avoid high taxes back home. If they don't want to contribute to the society that made them rich, they are not here to benefit our society as a whole except a few private wealth managers and our already wealthy banks.
In the US, President Obama increased minimum wage[Link] several times, increased taxes for the rich[Link], gave more people access to college education. He has also gone after the banks and rich people who evaded taxes by shifting money off-shore[Link].
The Singapore govt is not only doing little to address the inequality that is polarizing our society...our deregulated banking system, low taxes and citizenship schemes for the rich thwarts the efforts of other govts to fix this problem by allowing rich individuals to escape their responsibility back home. The money that has flowed here into property investments has made life difficult for the ordinary Singaporean by raising his cost of living and worsening the inequality problem in Singapore.