Overall taxes not as progressive as income tax

I refer to the 12 Mar 2013 Straits Times letter “Progressive taxes: MP replies” by Sembawang GRC MP Mr Ong Teng Koon. Mr Ong refers to Singapore’s highly progressive income tax where the top 20% households pay 80% of income tax. However, income tax alone doesn’t account for all the taxes paid by the people. Already, the government collects more tax from GST than it does from income tax. So any consideration of progressiveness should encompass all taxes, not just income tax. When all taxes are considered, the Singapore tax structure is far less progressive. We do not know exactly how progressive / not progressive it is unless the government reveals the GST paid by the respective income deciles.


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