Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rising Cost of living: the SDP solution


One of the biggest concerns among Singaporeans is the high cost of living and how people are finding it difficult to make ends meet. According to the Ministry of Manpower, the median income for Singaporeans (the most number of people earning this amount) in 2009 is $2,720 a month.

Is this sufficient? We present below a breakdown of monthly expenses for an average household of four persons (two parents and two children):

Housing instalment500
Table 1a: Monthly expenditure for a household of four
Water, electricity and gas200
Meals ($11/person/day)1,320
Transport ($2.50/person/working day)200
Medical bills (ave per month)50
Handphone and Internet150
Household supplies150
School fees and supplies150

Note that the estimates we have provided are rather conservative, that is, the expenses of many house-holds are higher. It is clear that the income is not enough for basic monthly expenses which, by the way, do not include expenditure for medical emergencies and recreation.

And there is nothing for retirement.

In other words, you just go to work everyday and return home without doing anything else. Is this the kind of life that you want? Many households have to resort to both parents working in order to be able to meet with the high cost of living.

What about the children? Who is going to look after them? Employing maids is not the solution as maids cannot replace parental love and discipline. Children need parental discipline and guidance without which we will see a rise of juvenile delinquency and youth gang violence which have witnessed of late.

The SDP’s solutions

To overcome this problem and help Singaporeans meet daily expenses, the SDP proposes the following measures:

1. Lower prices of our daily use of various items and services by:
  • reducing the GST from 7% to 3% and abolishing the GST for essential items such as rice, oil, medicines, etc,
  • lowering your PUB bills by at least 50%,
  • making sure that our public hospitals reduce charges and stop making a profit from Singaporeans,
  • bringing down bus and MRT fares by at least 20%, and
  • ensuring that the government increases public expenditure for the poor.
2. Increase the wages of workers and employees through schemes like Minimum Wage.

This will put more money into the pockets of Singaporeans. Higher incomes mean greater spending power for Singaporeans. This will benefit businesses and help the economy to become stronger.

3. Implement the Singaporeans First Policy.

We want to rely more on Singaporeans and less on cheap foreign labour. The high number of foreign workers presently in Singapore will only lower wages further because if there are more workers in the country, then employers can pick and choose the ones who will work longer and longer for less and less.
We must stop the PAP from raising our population to 6.5 million because this island cannot cope with so many people.

So help us to help you keep the cost of living to an affordable level. Support the Singapore Democrats for a more secure and brighter future.

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