Why VERS will work but it is still a bad idea

Why VERS will work

Some time ago, my boyfriend and I were still debating if the government can implement VERS effectively. My boyfriend estimated VERS to cost the government at least a few billion dollars annually. He performed his estimates based on the assumption that the VERS payout is about a few hundred thousand dollars. While this is a lower end estimate, it is still an astronomical amount by any standards. Furthermore, he cautioned me that his analysis was not complete and could only be used as an estimate. During periods of time when more flats were built, the leases for these flats will reach maturity at the same time and VERS for those years is likely to cost the government tens of billions of dollars. Indeed, the entire budget for some small countries may not even exceed a few billion dollars. So he is very doubtful that the government can commit to a programme that is financially suicidal. However, I came from a family that have more trust in the PAP government and I felt that the government will be able to come out with a sensible plan to ensure that the affected citizens will not end up homeless and in poverty.

However, a friend of mine attended the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) rally last week. He told us that SDP listed out 16 tax hikes and price increases that have already been implemented or will be implemented soon. The two most glaring items include the coming GST increase which is expected to rake in a few billion dollars into the governmental coffers, as well as Singapore having 93 ERP gantries across the island.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Road_Pricing

The debate between my boyfriend and me ended instantaneously. While nobody has the exact figures, one can see that these tax hikes and price hikes easily generates more than tens of billions dollars of governmental coffers every year. And the government has 20 years to increase the governmental coffers until the first VERS redemption. In fact, the revenue collected from the tax hikes and price increases may even allow the government to compensate a million dollars for each flat. So my boyfriend conceded defeat and admitted that VERS will definitely work after all.

Why VERS is a bad idea

Unfortunately, this is a bitter victory for me. My family used to have lots of respect for the PAP government, particularly my grandfather who witness how Singapore was transformed from a poor fishing village into a modern city today. Indeed, I was told that PAP had always put the interests of Singaporeans first in the old days. While there were many difficulties in the past, the PAP government had always led the country out of extreme difficulties and into greater heights. So my family was expecting PAP to come up with a better plan to resolve the HDB 99-year lease issue. It is with great disappointment that the plan was likely to have more tax hikes and price increases. In fact, more tax hikes and price increases is a very bad plan. As of this moment, Singapore’s economy is doing extremely poorly and our unemployment rate is reaching new highs every year. The number of retrenched and out-of-job is more than alarming and fresh graduates like me are having a hard time securing a decent job. From what I was told, the lucky few who have permanent jobs have zero or minimal pay increments over the past few years. A few of my friends in my cohort have ended up driving private hired cars and a lot of us are having a hard time. In short, the future looks bleak and most Singaporeans either have stagnant pays or have lost their jobs over the past few years. So not only these tax hikes and price increases serve to add even more hardship to our already miserable lives, but they are permanent increases and the pains are here to stay.

Furthermore, the housing prices are astronomically high and unaffordable for young adults like me when our starting pays are around $2,500. If we are to start a family, it is pure misery to enter into 30-year loans to finance a tiny HDB flat in some remote corner of Singapore, only to stuck with it to the end of the 99-year lease since practically nobody would want to buy a HDB with a remaining 70-year of lease. And at the rate when so many people are losing their jobs, it is optimistic to even assume that we can continue paying mortgage for 30 years.

The new generation of PAP cadres must break free

Personally, I feel that PAP is not what it used to be in the past. It is no longer working with people and for the people to build a better Singapore. Indeed, even PAP leaders and top civil servants have criticised PAP elites to live in ivory towers and can no longer feel the ground. However, I sincerely believe that within the new generation of PAP cadres, there are some who feel and care for the people. They have the drive and potential to serve the people and they genuinely want to make a difference. These PAP cadres should break free from the shackles of old PAP guards. The old PAP guards have grown complacent and spent more time worrying about whether the Oxley house should be preserved rather than whether the entire Singapore economy is going downhill. They continue to implement tax hikes and price increases, presumably to offer better VERS packages and to offer more election goodies so that they can get more votes during elections, at the expense of the common Singaporeans who are already struggling with everyday living and looking for jobs. Look at Tan Cheng Bock! He wanted to serve Singapore and make a difference even when he is almost 80 years old! However, sadly and realistically, he can last at most another few years before saying good bye to everybody. However, the new generation of PAP cadres are young, capable and energetic and they have the potential to last much longer. So do what Tan Cheng Bock had done! Leave the establishment, start afresh and really serve the people! Propose alternative methods to resolve the HDB 99-year lease issue, instead of having more take hikes and price increases. Singapore desperately needs new and strong leadership to get ourselves of the current mess. Please act now before it is too late.

 

Diana Sharma

 

 

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24 Responses to “Why VERS will work but it is still a bad idea”

  • William C:

    Singapore was transformed from a poor fishing village into a modern city today

    We are not a poor fishing village when PAP is in power? Someone trying to alter our history?

    When PAP became the government, we already have Nantah University, Kallang Airport etc. Are we a poor fishing village?

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  • oxygen:

    CURRENT CPF/HDB, AND GRC CONSTRUCTS have to be dismantled and discarded if LEE-jiapore is to have a survival chance.

    THEY ARE RELICS OF UTTER FAILURES OF POLICY PILLARS.

    4Gs are a CLUELESS LOT, they have to be rejected in the next GE – THEY HAVE NO REFORM AGENDA.

    NO CHOICE!

    WE WANT TO SURVIVE AND RENEW – THE GREENING OF SINGAPORE WAITS FOR PATRIOTIC VOTES.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    @Diana; you still believe these HIP2 and VERS! These were just a knee jerk jokes spun by the PAP when cornered. Whether these would work or not, it could only be seen after 20 years, just like some fortune telling on the street side in Chinatown. When PAP spun these, they did not even know how it could be done and there was no plan at all, just say only!! All those taxes was not for this purpose, it was meant to cover a big hole in the Reserve created by Tarmasick and GIC.

    You want PAP’s ministers and MPs to break away from PAP? Hello, wake up lah! Where can they find another place to give them million $ for doing nothing with no accountability and responsibility? You know SDP proposed a 50% pay cut for Ministers!

    There are 7 out of 10 working adults in Singapore holding some kind of degree and the rest with other qualifications, they don’t even know why their jobs were taken over by foreigners with fake certificates and SG need to go for training and re-training, but still jobless!!

    All these smart people are thinking that the money given to their Pioneer Gen and Merdeka Gen parents are sufficient to cover all the taxes hikes. They don’t even know that their parents cannot even touch the money, see only.

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  • N.Jungne:

    HIP2 and VERS are just images CONJURED in the sky, like that of the mirage. What to pull out of the bag, this ND, even his Minister has not heard of. Ask LW to reply.

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  • Regime change is the solution:

    The problem is PAP refusal to confirm the truth of what Lawrence Wong said – that HDB flats are depreciating and will be worth zero at the end of the lease.

    VERS is just spin. It still does not change the FACT that HDB flats depreciate and will be worth zero at the end of the lease. VERS means selling back old HDB flats to HDB for the value of the remaining lease. HDB is doing that already under the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS). It buys part of the remaining lease at fair value (determined by HDB). VERS will be basically the same – buying the remaining lease. Since this will be only a few years the sale proceeds will not be much. So there is not really new with VERS. It is just another acronym to “window dress” an over-priced, depreciating asset where most Singapore have put their CPF (retirement) money. another big mistake.

    What LKY said that HDB flats will never go down in value is not true. Any limited life asset depreciates to be worth zero at the end of its useful life (or end of lease).

    Singaporeans really got screwed big-time. Their retirement saving (CPF) are stuck in an over-priced, depreciating asset.

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  • Opposition dude:

    The PAP won’t change as long as the old cocks are still around, it’s like in an MNC where the old generation have all the power and the younger workers can only watch. While there may be a few of the younger ones who want to look after us citizens they are too few in number to have any effect.

    So since PAP won’t give you a good deal when your flat reaches 70 you basically are left with nothing. They have already stated that VERS won’t have so high a payout compared to SERS so don’t expect too much.

    PAP raising taxes is nothing new but it’s foolish to think that this will result in a generous payout for VERS. What is going to happen is that all the extra revenue is going to Temasek for them to make more reckless investments

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  • RDB:

    What is VERS? You gave name for SDP but not this one too?

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  • Very simple method:

    There is a very simple and very good method, but the PAP won’t do it.

    This method will enrich the old HDB owners (or renters, whichever term you prefer). This method will make money flow into the government, not out as some people such as the writer’s boyfriend worry about).

    What is this very simple and very good method?

    You know old HUDC flat owners got very rich? How? The government allow them to enbloc to private developers. Each HUDC owner got a million or two more. And the private developers pay the government billions of dollars to extend the land to 99 years.

    This government can very easily, with the stroke of a pen, allow old HDB owners to do the same thing.

    So, you see, everybody will be very happy with this method.

    So, why won’t this government do it? I think the elite just cannot stand old HDB owners getting rich. Jealously of the governing elites in seeing poor people get so rich.

    Just in case they say land is needed to be reserved for HDB, ask them how many prime HDB land has been used for private development. In any case, they can restrict the old HDB land to be built for only HDB-eligible people by private developers as what they are already doing.

    See? Go ask your PAP MPs why they don’t want to do this. Ask them!

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  • Dear Diana:

    Join the public service. It pays well with good bonus. Every year you get pay increment. It is a stable job.
    Polytechnic lecturers can easily earn over $100,000 annually.
    MNC and banks pay well too but the job is not secured, and you would be displaced by FTs very soon.

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  • Aclimatate:

    What happened to population

    Growth?how long already?

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  • Dont trust PAP:

    I think a flat is for people to live in, not to make money.
    It is job that provides regular monthly income.
    PAP keeps saying there are more jobs created (by foreigners) than Singaporeans want.
    The reality is foreigners are displacing Singaporeans, even newly converted. In the early years, the foreign companies get their top managers here and create jobs for Singaporeans. Now even local companies are getting foreign PMETs. People from China, India, Philippines are more competitive, willing to work long hours, and lower pay. They even die in their jobs, look at the number of construction and industrial fatalities, companies and directors do not have to pay huge compensation like in other developed countries.
    Do Singaporeans have the spurs … as LKY said?
    The pyramid scheme of our property market and foreigners import cannot continue forever, it drives cost up and displace Singaporeans.
    Singapore will run out of land even the 99 year lease was abondoned.
    PAP and cronies are for themselves not unlike businessmen like the major shareholders and directors of Noble, Midas, Hyflux, Temasek Holdings.
    Singaporeans can do something … they have one vote every 5 years … for now … things may change in the future … look at the GRC, EP election laws that PAP made to perpetuate its power and control in the name of racial harmony …

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  • LIONS:

    SERS,VERS,still end up same same.
    HDB flat still belongs to UNCLE LEE at the end?

    Meanwhile,sgs kena PAY NON-$top!

    PAP likes to talk about *RE-MAKING SINGAPORE*.
    Ya,it has indeed remade SINGAPORE into $IN-CITY* where $$$ is God? …Dream on the members of the INTER-RELIGIOUS COUNCIL,whatever you call it;the PAP WOR$HIP A DIFFERENT GOD???

    RETURN MY HOME,MY *VILLAGE*,MY GRANDFATHER’S LAND,…AND RETURN MY ONLY RETIREMENT MONEY,MY C P F !

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  • when PAP took over?:

    we had Raffles hotel , one of the worlds top hotels too,before PAP took over.
    we lived in nice SIT flats..all children went to schools. there were many old n beautiful places of worship too..
    what nonsense this about PAP turning sg from a fishing village to 1st world?
    total hogwash. maybe it was so when Stamford Raffles came.
    our sg was a modern thriving country..some thanks to the british occupation..

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  • dont hope:

    VERS will never materialise.
    they change their minds n tweak rules like changing underwear…

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  • Lubby Chubby:

    Is Diana a trojan horse trying to sugarcoat the bad policies by sneaking in as opposition but in reality a spy?

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    William C: We are not a poor fishing village when PAP is in power? Someone trying to alter our history?

    When PAP became the government, we already have Nantah University, Kallang Airport etc. Are we a poor fishing village?

    NOT only that you had MENTIONED Bill, in the 1930s we were considered the MOST Modern Port in the Far East if not Asia too…The Bastard who Con You was still sucking milk at his mother’s breast

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  • Lormaikai:

    Population is the hidden solution.

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  • Asd:

    Why bother work or no work… no body gonna to be around and its just a bad dream

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  • FAKES:

    Don’t know WHAT THE HELL SHE IS WRITING.

    Facts are wrong, claims are baseless and not substantiated.

    Trying to bluff the Merdeka Generation, probably.

    Sweetened FAKES are still FAKES.

    She and her BF can go “FLY KITES”.

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  • Very Interesting:

    Is this really true? VERS is to be financed using tax hikes and price increases?!?!?

    I have only heard of “Robbing Peter to pay Paul”. It is really quite something to create a system of “Robbing Peter to pay Peter”. A stroke of absolute ingenuity and creativity. Amazing beyond words!

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  • Bapak:

    Wat a beautiful reply.

    NotMyProblem:
    @Diana; you still believe these HIP2 and VERS! These were just a knee jerk jokes spun by the PAP when cornered. Whether these would work or not, it could only be seen after 20 years, just like some fortune telling on the street side in Chinatown. When PAP spun these, they did not even know how it could be done and there was no plan at all, just say only!! All those taxes was not for this purpose, it was meant to cover a big hole in the Reserve created by Tarmasick and GIC.

    You want PAP’s ministers and MPs to break away from PAP? Hello, wake up lah! Where can they find another place to give them million $ for doing nothing with no accountability and responsibility? You know SDP proposed a 50% pay cut for Ministers!

    There are 7 out of 10 working adults in Singapore holding some kind of degree and the rest with other qualifications, they don’t even know why their jobs were taken over by foreigners with fake certificates and SG need to go for training and re-training, but still jobless!!

    All these smart people are thinking that the money given to their Pioneer Gen and Merdeka Gen parents are sufficient to cover all the taxes hikes. They don’t even know that their parents cannot even touch the money, see only.

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  • pap clown and wife:

    VERs won’t work.

    because until HDB changes rule about unit being rental on 99 year lease, VERs or VERs 2 or VERs 3 or VERs whatever, the existing HDB rental unit value goes to zero at end of lease, meaning VERs is just acronym to con 70% sheep about HDB asset when it is actually just rental consumption.

    VERs work only if after VERs HDB rental unit becomes freehold unit. then, VERs has meaning and works. until then, stop being 70% sheep.

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  • More Pain Needed:

    Long and serious discussion …. but on promises made by incorrigible liars and crooks.
    This country is in peril. The future is dim.
    Dafts are hopeless.

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  • The Daft Loser:

    Another uselessly long Bo bian discussion.
    PAP crooks throw in a hoodwinking VERS, dafts analyse till death.

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