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Doubt cast on PAP Govt’s payouts to ease ordinary Singaporean pressures

The Ministry of Finance recently announced cash payouts for 1.5 million eligible adult Singaporeans in August to aid daily expenses. Skepticism arose as netizens questioned their impact amidst economic challenges. Amid early election speculation, concerns grew that these payouts might foster dependency without ensuring long-term economic stability.

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SINGAPORE: On Thursday (4 July),  The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced that approximately 1.5 million eligible adult Singaporeans will receive cash payouts in August to assist with their daily expenses.

However, scepticism has surfaced, as seen in the online comments on Singapore’s mainstream media social media pages, where there is a notable expression of anxiety over economic pressures within the Singaporean community.

Some highlighted the overall economic situation, with observations that many businesses are struggling due to high operational costs, casting doubts on the effectiveness of these handouts in stimulating economic recovery.

Amid early election speculation, comparisons have been made between the ruling party’s handouts and welfare programs like food stamps in other countries.

Some suggest that these handouts foster dependency without addressing long-term economic sustainability.

MOF: Increased cash payouts for Singaporeans amid economic challenges

In the Thursday statement, MOF noted that eligible recipients living in homes with annual values up to S$21,000 will receive S$850, while those in homes valued between S$21,000 and S$25,000 will get S$450, reflecting an increase of S$150 or S$100 from last year.

The payouts are for Singaporeans aged 21 and above with an assessable income of up to S$34,000 for the year of assessment 2023, excluding those owning multiple properties.

Additionally, about 650,000 citizens aged 65 and above will receive up to S$450 in their MediSave accounts as part of the GST Voucher scheme to alleviate GST expenses for lower- to middle-income Singaporeans.

These disbursements are part of the GST Voucher (GSTV) scheme, aimed at permanently alleviating GST expenses for lower- to middle-income Singaporeans amidst the recent increases in goods and services tax.

The GST rate rose from 7% to 8% in January 2023 and further to 9% at the start of 2024.

According to MOF, the 2024 GSTV disbursements, initially announced by Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in February 2023, will total $1.4 billion, an increase of about $200 million from 2023.

Netizens call for prioritizing core issues over payouts to alleviate the rising cost of living

Observing comments on Singapore state media such as The Straits Times and CNA‘s Facebook posts, it is evident that there is a sentiment urging the government to prioritize core issues that could alleviate the rising cost of living, rather than focusing solely on payouts, especially amidst anticipated early election speculation.

Some express pessimism, noting uncertainty about whether the payout will effectively mitigate the challenges faced by Singaporeans amidst increases in GST, property taxes, and water tariffs.

While MOF noted that eligible recipients will receive S$850 for homes up to S$21,000 annual values, S$450 for S$21,000 to S$25,000 annual values, a netizen argued that the escalating property market has disproportionately inflated property taxes without clear justification.

The netizen further criticised that the rising cost of living has left many dependent on handouts, questioning whether this effectively addresses underlying economic challenges.

Moreover, he expressed concerns that these costs could lead to broader economic issues as businesses struggle.

Middle-class struggles amid economic challenges highlighted by netizens

There are concerns about the eligibility criteria for the payout. For instance, one comment pointed out that the low annual income bar excludes many middle-class Singaporeans who are struggling with expenses, commitments, and debts.

This results in a significant number of Singaporeans being ineligible for the GST payout.

Some lamented that the middle class suffers from the impact of GST increases without adequate solutions to ease their burden.

Vouchers inadequate for addressing economic challenges

Some expressed scepticism towards vouchers, implying that they are not effective in addressing the broader economic issues being faced.

A netizen expressed their frustration, pointing out that it only provides cash payouts for two categories of the Annual Value of Home, up to S$25,000.

He expressed disbelief that those earning above this threshold are not considered for assistance, despite facing increased living expenses.

Another netizen suggests that an annual income of $S34,000 is insufficient, especially for larger families with four or more members.

The comment argues for an increase in the income ceiling for eligibility, indicating that current thresholds do not adequately support households facing higher expenses.

Meanwhile, a sarcastic comment suggests that when the ruling party provides handouts, it’s acceptable; but if opposition parties propose similar measures, it’s criticized as depleting national reserves.

PSP’s Hazel Poa calls for fundamental changes to address the cost of living

During an interview in February, Hazel Poa, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) from the Progress Singapore Party (PSP),  remarked on the Singapore Budget 2024, suggesting that it appears to be tailored as an “election budget with no additional taxes.”

She expressed appreciation for the S$1.9 billion Assurance Package announced by then-Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong which aimed at assisting Singaporeans in managing the cost of living.

However, she cautioned that these measures are short-term and expressed hope that the government’s focus would shift towards implementing fundamental changes to enable Singaporeans to increase their real wages, reducing the dependence on handouts for a significant portion of the population.

When prompted to elaborate on the fundamental changes she proposed, Ms Poa reiterated the essential need to raise Singaporeans’ wages to cope with the cost of living.

She outlined various approaches to achieve this, one of which aligns with the PSP’s previous proposal—the implementation of a living wage, which establishes a minimum wage for all individuals.

In addition, she stressed the importance of empowering employees to negotiate better wages, citing the comparatively lower percentage of Singaporeans’ wage component in GDP compared to other OECD countries.

“This is something that we can work on to improve the percentage of wages and therefore improve the lives of Singaporeans.”

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s1

Last edited 1 day ago by Blankslate

Please Lah!! There are plenty of ez optional effective methods that the PAP Administration can take to SHOOT up the QUALITY of LIVES of SGpns at NOT Necessary SCURRENT SKY HIGH prices. THE ONLY MATTER is PAP Administration’s WILL POWER. Have WILL and POWER – SELFLESSLY which is NOT in fact for Sheeps solely BUT for NATIONALISM which the PAP FIRECELY CONVENIENTLY DISRESPECT and DISREGARDS. There’s ZERO NEED to tell this PAP what to do. THEY HAVE a GREAT, POWERFUL CABINET, HOUSEFULL of Talents from The Home Minister, to the AG, to the Policeman, to the ELD Clerks, To MAYORS… Read more »

s2

Last edited 1 day ago by Blankslate

s3

Last edited 1 day ago by Blankslate

Basically the local reporters should conduct interview on the pple on the street to ask if they head to up north frequently to purchase their daily necessities

I believed since the cost of living in this country is increasing n it is quite likely in the near the future the no of local citizens from this country will go to up north to purchase their daily necessities and the ruling party should not be surprised if there are pple from this country planning to retire in up north.

s4

Last edited 1 day ago by Blankslate

Doubts ? !!!, … now, .. after all this time !!!

Dafties of the highest order !!!

The chicken wings they’ve been merrily stuffing their faces to, are fed with mind numbing pellets, whilst, … the vouchers and coupons they gleefully have their hands on, … are coated with brain cell destruction elements !!!

Doubts ? !!!, … now, .. after all this time !!!

Many may seems to have forgotten in 2022 this PAP Political Administration has enacted tighten of foreigner employment to take effect in Sept 2024.

And it’s only an Indian news media tt I come across picking it up to warn of serious consequences of Foreign talents.

Notice the implications.

1. An Indian news make it newsworthy

2. Coincidence 2 years ago can predict timing of G election?

Last edited 6 days ago by 80twenty

Give the people back their jobs and dignity.
From now on prepare school children for the new world economy…its never too late to start altho 1000s are suffering joblessness ir underemployment due to this inept sgov..
Dont wait till last minute then rush and say sg doesnt have talents, need to bring in planeloads of FTs !
What a lazy gov we had all these decades…taking the easy way out ….

We have always known pap give away chicken wings and announced it in their mediacock but actually they have taken whole chickens. Rather than rejoicing, shouldn’t we be worrying about these handouts and what they will do to recoup their losses?

The best way to deal with inflation and raising cost of living is not to give pathetic handouts and keep bragging about it BUT to give people good jobs that pays salaries well enough to handle the cost hike.

But ah, pee air pee cannot do that because they sign shitty fta like ceca that need them to give away good jobs to foreigners.

Spam

Last edited 6 days ago by Blankslate

All of these cost increases just so that they do not have to raise Income Tax and Corporate Tax for the highest bracket.

Or alternatively, they could cut back on government spending.

Last edited 6 days ago by Blankslate

Handouts wont last. Cost and food prices are going up…..when did it come down?

Its better to give the man a job than give him a fish. What do you think?

Why celebrate National Day when most of the jobs is 2023 are given away to foreigners? What do you think?

Last edited 6 days ago by john lim

Short term painkiller…long term suffering.

If the govt is truly interested in reining in the high cost of living they should truly look inwards towards by knowing the ground and feel the pulse of the people. Simply giving handouts are nothing other than glorifying themselves of truly caring gov. Do they know that ever so often prices of basic essential crept up in almost tandem with such handouts and increases vis-a-vis GST, gas and electricity traffics, COEs and what have you. I have lost count of the number of price adjustments of food one year. The business cronies are the ones reaping from the ordinary… Read more »

It’s fundamental for people of SG to realise, come to acknowledge the PAP act to impress that it’s a caring political Administration, and there’s actually a trade off to all these PAP handouts WHICH CRUELLY has to be EMPHASIZED the PAP has NO RESOURCES of money to give to sustain Singaporeans

The trade off is emotionally, for a moment it makes peoples hearts flutter. THAT’S THE BLOODY ALL.

How long CAN the PAP Administration resort to BLUFF and CORRUPT minds they ARE RETURNING all of Citizens Moneys?

Vote buying, bribery, corruption not in lexicon of the white on shiny white??????

ForeSEE no GE this year with high inflation, job loss, depressed wages, ageing population, low fertility rate, shrinking workforce and etc.
If don’t believe, the people can go check the news on British GE. The ruling party killed itself by holding election during this difficult time.

At some point the population must realise that the ruling party has no intention to change its governance because it does not see a need. This is due to it being elected without fail. This is its method of governance. It will give you handouts just before elections. After elections it spends taxpayers ‘ monies with no accountability. When the State coffers become low, we the ATMs of the PAP will have to pay increased costs and GST. They have never told us where the increase in taxes are actually going to. In the First World, a government cannot keep… Read more »

Singapore was “developed” on the basis of “what’s wrong with collecting more money?” policies. ALL the problems we are facing now are the unintended (one naively hopes) CONSEQUENCES of that policy being can-kicked through the years. When the road runs out for more can kicking, that’s when the tide goes out and leaving those not wearing shorts exposed …

Robber to victim: I robbed you but gives back a small amount so you should be grateful I helped you mitigate the effects of being robbed. (Pappies policy)

Victim: Wouldn’t it be better that I shoot you dead and there is NO EFFECTS of being robbed? (Common sense policy)

Spam

Last edited 6 days ago by Blankslate

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