Mythbuster 4 : Will SingFirst’s safety net really help all Singaporeans and not just the poor?

Yes our safety net will help all Singaporeans including the middle class. Existing PAP policies are targeted at the poor with means testing, leaving many middle class families in the lurch and stressed as they cope with rising cost of living from child rearing, education, healthcare to public transport. Our safety net is for ALL.

These proposals below underscore our belief to build a fair society with strong families and esteemed people. Do you agree with our initiatives in response to your fourth question?

4.   What are the elements of your proposed strong social safety net?

safety net

Our Reply:

1.   A heavily subsidised universal and comprehensive healthcare insurance;

2.   Unemployment benefits/insurance;

3.   Old-age pension in addition to CPF;

4.   Gradual removal of GST;

5.   Significant transport fare concessions;

6.   Free education from primary school to university;

7.   Monthly cash allowances for children up to age 6 in addition to existing baby bonus and other benefits to promote births.

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8 replies »

  1. In short, proposing to turn Singapore into a first-world society rather than a third-world society with the facade of a first-world economy. Maybe then we can work on the second-world government and the mentality it’s encouraged so strongly over the last 55 years.

  2. Please kindly correct me if my views on these are wrong.. 🙂

    I believe the intentions of the seven proposed amendments are good, however I’m not sure whether the consequences of such policies have been evaluated deeply.

    For (1), I believe it’s okay, but not subsidized to a point where moral hazard effects takes over.
    (2), not sure about unemployment benefits, but an insurance sounds plausible.
    (3), (5) and (7) seems to be highly valid?
    I’m not sure if (4) will lead to a lack in taxes collected, unless it’s accompanied by income tax or other tax changes.
    (6) sounds helpful, but a heavily subsidized education would be better than a totally free one 🙂

    • Which is why, for (4) I wasn’t sure initially on how this would be funded. After all, my understanding is that (correct me if I may be wrong) GST is a very significant source of income for the current G.

      I am quite hesitant about (2) actually. Gives people a reason to laze. 🙂

      Not sure about (5): does someone have info on hand about how our transport compares to other countries? Public at least; private transport in SG is expensive thanks, in part, to limited land resulting in roads encroaching land space.

      How would SFP see Germany’s e.g. to set higher education to be free?

      I agree a moral hazard is quite plausible — people do and will want to over-consume healthcare service. After all, if there’s a free doctor to report sick to, why shouldn’t I, as long as I won’t have to fear being sacked by my employer?

  3. Maybe I had been living under the PAP’S tyranny for too long that I felt that what was written above is impossible to attain,but I believe that deep somewhere Singapore do hope that it will work this way. Keep up the good work for a better Singapore!

  4. .. from elsewhere:

    ..On a separate matter, after the “Geylang East Market & Food Centre” was closed for upgrading works during the months of June to August, food prices there have risen almost two-fold. A plain simple plate of “Mee Goreng” for example, now costs $4 per plate and a single “egg prata” can go from $2.20 onwards. Chicken rice & western food range from $3.50 – $4.80 for a mere portion.
    Hawkers there blame it on inflation, beginning they say from NEA revising their rental to $1500 upwards since the renovations. I feel this is really unnecessary & not helpful towards this aging estate with myself being a senior citizen who has to bear the brunt & reel from the effects of rapid price increases.
    The proportion of homeless & destitute feeding on leftovers is fast becoming a common sight in my neighbourhood, a direct result of the severe inadequacy of local social safety nets to cushion the impact. When I say this, I mean the local comcare network that is only able to provide $80 of NTUC vouchers once every 4-5 months, needless to mention the national one with no programs targeting elderly in need & which nobody ever seems to qualify.
    In view of this, I hope the government can at least lower the rental rates which is definitely in their purview & control.
    Yours faithfully,

    Mdm J. Tan

  5. I think we also need to examine how funds of this country are spent in the past 10 years. I elaborated elsewhere but essentially, Parliament should have easily digestible answers, e.g. We should know how much of every tax $ reaches the needy: the sick, the unemployed, children, elderly. Likewise, how much of the same tax $ goes to administrative costs/highly paid civil servants including the armed forces, research people etc. People who made promises to use GST to help the needy must show accountability. Donors to non-profits gets answers to how much of each donation $ reaches the needy. Without the answers, the perception currently is :

    1258:We have squeezed Baghdad dry. There is nothing more worth having.
    2014: We will continue to squeeze Singaporeans dry. Only the rich ones are worth helping since they pay our high salaries….

  6. Just curious — how will all these be funded and how much additional spending would Singapore probably be incurring in its budget?

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