On subsidies and grants

I suspect that this government, its Ministers and its policy makers do not have a good enough grasp of how high cost of living is wrecking havoc on our working class and poor citizens at the ground level.

Government grants and subsidies are welcoming and heartening gestures to help our citizens cope with the rising costs of living in public housing, healthcare and education but there are deeper questions that we need to ask ourselves.

To start, the costs of living is not affordable, especially for many working class and poor families. It is only affordable with grants and subsidies. A simple weekend meal for a family of four at most food courts can easily set them back by more than $30. Too many citizens simply cannot afford this, and even if they do, it is not sustainable. Businesses will pass the increasing costs to consumers and wage earners will just suffer in silence.

Many Singaporeans enjoy government housing grants when buying their flats even without them asking. Those grants can range from about $5,000 to $120,000 – they are not free money and they must be paid back including interest compounded over the years when the flats are sold. Singaporean patients enjoy subsidies on their medical bills at public hospitals too.

Yet again, not everybody qualifies for subsidies.

Something is fundamentally wrong when our citizens’ labour and earnings cannot keep up with the cost of living in this country but have to depend on their government’s help. Government’s money do not merely drop from the sky. It must come from somewhere and the people’s pockets is one obvious place.

Take public housing grant for example. If our HDB flats selling prices are priced truly affordably like what Mah Bow Tan used to tell Singaporeans so often in the past, then there is really no need for government grants to help people buy their flats.

If only the PAP government is not too greedy and factor in land cost into their flat selling prices, we wouldn’t have to shoulder such very heavy housing burdens over many, many years. After all, flat dwellers have no claim whatsoever to the land that their blocks are built on.

Finally, the side effects of long term subsidies, grants and welfare provided by the state must bred a dependent and beholden mentality among our citizens which is both undesirable and unhealthy.

 

Simon Lim

 

 

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15 Responses to “On subsidies and grants”

  • Skin the Wolves:

    It can be said that;

    Grants are tools used to silent and garner volts unfairly by manufacturing addiction and dependence.

    Anyone seen operating on the basis of grants are mostly from wolves on sheep skins.

    Skin the wolves to safeguard your own children futures.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Simon

    You mistake not knowing with not giving a sh*t.

    These parasites know very well what we pay – as a mental exercise to add the numbers, nothing more. It does not mean anything to them.

    Your trying to feed your family or make sure they have a roof over their heads and not seeing your children grow up because you are working 24/7 These things matter not to them.

    It bothers them only when the you cannot pay the protection money you owe the gangsters. Then they dream up new and exciting ways to get even more from you.

    And you really have no choice. Because there is no way out. Never underestimate them in making you a slave for life. Your children too.

    Evil and ignorant are not the same thing.

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  • bye bye PAP:

    we have an inept pm/ gov.
    still living on past glories ..keep quoting lky and what the 1g leaders had done.
    this present sgov hasnt done anything of substance to speak of…
    best get rid of them asap.

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  • TruBlu:

    Give 5 cents,$UCK BABK 50 cents.

    PAPie$ are real blood-suckers.

    Do you think they care for you?
    If so, you are either stupid or dreaming.

    At least 70 pct of sgs seems to be stupid.
    They will only * Wake up * just before they drop dead?
    That will be too late…

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  • BooLee Diamdiam Sue:

    Simi is affordable in sg now? The buying power of the people is obviously shrinking.

    Just in June when I was at Metro to buy some stuff on a Sunday, the whole place was so quiet. But 2 months later, at their recent closing down sales, the crowd was massive! People were rushing to buy because many items were given very high discounts to clear, most at 50%. It was so crowded that Metro even has to close their entrances for crowd control. One PRC woman told me, on normal days the things were just too expensive that she couldn’t afford them, so the closing down sales was good for everyone.

    Already there’re many retailers having to close down. Do we wish to see more stores closing? Would more closing down sales (just like G giving subsidies and grants) be good for the people and the country?

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  • RDB:

    @Skin the Wolves: September 8, 2019 at 10:42 pm (Quote)

    It can be said that;

    Grants are tools used to silent and garner volts unfairly by manufacturing addiction and dependence
    ========
    Note that “volts” is electrical power pressure like our household electric system equipment are rated for operation. Please note that voting for or against is spelt VOTES.

    TRE moderator, please note that I notify word spellings online to notify as some may not be able to figure out the message with wrongly spelt word(s).

    Mod: Noted with thanks.

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  • Simon is 70%?:

    Simon must be part of the 70%. Says so many good things about PAP policy, e.g.

    “It is only affordable with grants and subsidies.” Affordable already. Old folks don’t need to do ‘exercises’.

    ” Singaporean patients enjoy subsidies on their medical bills”. Yeah. Go ‘enjoy’. Follow what that minister said, people prefer to spend holidays in hospitals. According to many writers, after subsidy bill is higher than private doctors.

    Parroting PAP talk that welfare must come from your pocket. Wrong. Singapore reserve is HUGE. Don’t kpkb that $200 welfare must be from new tax. Government can lose track of millions/billions of dollars without any investigation.

    And parroting PAP warnings about “the side effects of long term subsidies, grants and welfare provided by the state”. Good first world countries provide many long term welfare. Examples: free childcare allowance for 18 yrs, and free pension from 65 until death.

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  • Bobo:

    Last week, overheard one old lady at kovan hawker center boosting to her friends that our PAP is really good you know. They really take good care of elderly and medical is affordable with CHAS card. Sometimes, doctor’s visit is free leh. Now lagi best, gov allowed retirees to take out all their money in their CFP and then gov will still continue to give you a few hundreds dollars monthly until we mati lor. All her friends applaused and take her words at face value. She said that she has never voted for opposition for fear that all the gov handouts and subsidies will be gone. That old lady had neglected to look at her peers pushing trolley around to clean tables right in her eyes. A meter away had a sweaty old man picking cans and cardboards and when you go toilet, a old lady was washing toilets for a living. Sad!

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  • Michael:

    Do not trust the government to give free .after this election is over,expect more tax hike here and there. The government is broke .

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  • Lee Chun Sing:

    TCB questioned if HSK understood Transparency.

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  • Policies of a nutcase economy:

    Globally the highest costs of housing and health services in an island state third richest in the world manned by cosmic-salaried ministers and mps (with hidden remunerations from glcs) over a Labour force without minimum wage protection where folks work into Twilight years without light at the end of the tunnel.
    The meta-theory is “nation incorporated” crony-capitalism promulgating trickle-down economics with the lowest median wages worldwide and a Guided democracy with heavily curtailed civic discourse.

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  • opposition dude:

    Yes Simon Lim you are correct. All these grants and subsidies and GST vouchers and what not are symptomatic that the PAP even has to resort to these. If the cost of living was a lot more manageable like you said there would not be a need for grants and subsidies.

    But this is how PAP operates, they will never admit that they have screwed up but will take the band aid approach in introducing subsidies and then proudly proclaim that all is well and good.

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  • Rabble-rouser:

    An efficient & price-clearing market shouldn’t have subsidies nor grants. These were just symptoms of a dysfunctional marketplace. Problem stems from a lack of market transparency & price obsfucation of an immense nature.

    If one has the benefit of living overseas for a period of time. One soon realised that many things in S’pore are overpriced to the extent of obvious profiteering or worse, outright price gouging.

    The S’pore govt takes plenty but gives very little to the extent that you would know they will take back plenty more for the measely amount that they give to the public.

    S’pore under the PAP isn’t a nation nor a country. The system is exploitative & riddled with revenue generating schemes with little economic longevity. So ask yourself why the constant refrain of Economic Restructuring every 10 years?

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  • never voted pap:

    Bobo:
    Last week, overheard one old lady at kovan hawker center boosting to her friends that our PAP is really good you know. They really take good care of elderly and medical is affordable with CHAS card. Sometimes, doctor’s visit is free leh. Now lagi best, gov allowed retirees to take out all their money in their CFP and then gov will still continue to give you a few hundreds dollars monthly until we mati lor. All her friends applaused and take her words at face value. She said that she has never voted for opposition for fear that all the gov handouts and subsidies will be gone. That old lady had neglected to look at her peers pushing trolley around to clean tables right in her eyes. A meter away had a sweaty old man picking cans and cardboards and when you go toilet, a old lady was washing toilets for a living. Sad!

    There is this Lj shopkeeper in our estate. Once talked to him about too many aliens FTs PRs admitted into small island causing crowding even in the corridor right outside his small shop.

    Typical 70% sheep mentality. Said more aliens FTs PRs better for him since chance for him to sell more things.

    ffff.

    such small minded 70% sheep brain. where got hope?

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  • Create wealth for more:

    Create wealth for more citizen.
    No need a grant if they can afford it.
    Problem is more is getting poorer now, especially the middle class.
    Wrong Policy.

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