Prabu Ramachandran on the cost of living.
Prabu Ramachandran guest writing for reinventing the rice bowl:
Ever since GE 2001 when the PAP won by a huge margin of 75% Singaporeans woes began.
Woes such as high cost of living; high cost on basic survival necessities such as food, water, electricity, housing & transport.
The very basic economical term in both macro & micro economics, the principle is that “the price is determined by supply & demand”
The PAP failed to understand this very basic principle atleast with regards to the building of HDB flats. From 2001-2011 the number of flats build was very minimal as compared to the influx of immigrants due to the foreign talent policy as well as liberal immigration policies.
This upset the demand – supply curve & created a high demand for flats. As there was virtually no supply of housing & accomodation. Naturally the resulting effect the prices went up sharply.
Secondly to note is that the method of valuation of resale flats is based on earlier transactions. As more houses were bought and sold the valuation went up as well. Taking into consideration the market asking COV. The new valuation prices plus the asking COV resulted in HDB flats which are public housing becoming more & more unaffordable. As new flat prices were pegged with the resale market prices, a new flat which is ony a 99-year lease could cost as much as $250,000 onwards.
GST is another cost of problems as it is another additional cost on citizens. GST rose from 3% then to 5% & finally to the current 7%. Rise in GST together with the unnecessary self imposed austerity measures such as reduced spending on education, healthcare & subsidies towards citizens has caused our country’s reserves in billions on dollars which rightfully belongs to it’s citizens but is simply laying there & not being used or spent on citizens.
Water and electricity charges has gone up after the recent GE as well with members of the ruling party having an uncaring attitude of “price raises cannot be helped”. Worst is that electricity & water are subject to “conservation taxes” plus GST. That’s tax on tax.
Subsidies for citizens & ordinary civil servants are limited as civil servants no longer have lifelong pensions under the saying of “Singapore must not become a welfare state” but ministers, MPs & the president are entitled to pensions despite their salaries being the highest in the world & rather put of the world. Why this double standards?
This has become yet another cost & burden on tax payers & citizens of Singapore.
Is this system brought upon us by the PAP agreeable?
Is this a good system for our country & out citizens?
Do we want to continue to pay our president, ministers & MPs millions but not have any accountability for their actions or the lack of it when things goes wrong?
My believe is that in the current system the PAP has placed themselves before the interest of all Singaporeans & citizens.
A concerned Singaporean-citizen