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Cost of living Watch
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 14013
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hikes in ERP
'Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday (Oct 30) announced that the government will be increasing road taxes of Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) by 50% at the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) and the Pan-Island Expressway (PIE).
The rates were increased 50% from S$2 to S$3 each time a vehicle pass through the ERP gantry points at KPE, and a new S$1 charge at PIE.
ERP increase
The new tax increase is estimated to net the government a further S$18,000 profit a day, or S$6.5 million a year.
Cost of living is now pressured upwards further following a 30% water price increase, electricity tariff increase and cross-border tariff increase this year.' Source thestatestimesreview
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PM Lee Hsien Loong has ordered a new carbon tax to be implemented by 2019, with electricity bill seeing the largest increase as power stations are the main carbon emitters. The new carbon tax will be between S$10 and S$20 per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions from 2019. According to state media CNA, a 4-room HDB apartment will see an estimated increase up to S$3.30 a month in their electricity bill.

The new carbon tax will also indirectly raise the cost of businesses jacking up prices across all industries. This new tax is the latest after several raises in taxes like the 30% water prices in July, 14% in electricity tariffs in May, carpark charges, cross-border tolls, ERP rates and coming 4.2% transport fares in Dec.
Source thestatestimesreview
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Singapore wages too high and businesses may close down
Thestatestimesreview wrote this, “Senior Minister for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon complained in Parliament yesterday (July 11) that Singaporeans’ wages are too high and unsustainable. Referencing to the productivity growth, the S$1.1 million-a-year PAP minister threatened that businesses will downsize or shut down if wages continue to rise….In Singapore, manual labour jobs like cleaners earn as little S$900 a month after CPF deduction. At about S$5 an hour, this is a quarter of the S$20 minimum wage in Australia. Foreign workers from third world countries like Bangladesh earn much lower, taking home about S$600 a month.”
Unbelieveable! A drunk would never admit that he is drunk or would not know that he is drunk. A glutton would never see himself as a glutton. Or Napoleon and his fellow pigs would not know that they were cheating the people and feeding themselves crazy on the people’s labour and contribution.
Singaporean wages high? What nonsense! A $1,000 wage in Singapore is bordering on the poverty line. A $1,000 wage in third world country is middle class. A cleaner with $900 wage is barely surviving. What is high or low is relative. You can't be so simple minded to just compare monetary value without looking at the real value of money in purchasing power.
This is the same farce that the Americans are groaning about. They are demanding that China pays its workers the same wage as the American workers. They refused to acknowledge the differences in cost of living, purchasing power and lifestyle. A Chinese worker earning $1,000 is very comfortable as prices of essential items are relatively cheap. An American worker cannot live with a $1,000 wage as not only things are relatively more expensive, but an American worker would want his medium rare steak and his cabernet sauvignon as part of his daily meal. The Chinese worker would be happy with his noodle or rice with a few shreds of meat or fish.
Wages are high in Singapore not at the bottom but at the top. The multi million dollar salaries of ministers and politicians, top civil servants and CEOs of GLCs are not sustainable. Just imagine how many commuters must take the train or bus before the train/bus company makes $1m. At $1 a trip, it means 1m trips just to pay the joker his 1m salary. And if you have 20 jokers with an average salary of $1m it means 20m trips just to pay their salaries.
The sickness of our economy is not the wages of the workers but the salary of those at the top. Do they contribute enough to earn the millions that are paid to them other than talking nonsense? The salary of a million dollar top man or politician could pay for a thousand workers. This is the real problem of unsustainability and irresponsible remuneration system.
Yes, it is very high at the top and very unsustainable. Stop spewing nonsense and everyday scheming to reduce the wages of the workers and stealing their savings in their CPF.
The only way to solve the Singapore unsustainable high salary problem is lightning strike.
PS. How are Singaporeans going to survive in this most expensive city in the world if their wages are to be the same as Malaysians, Indonesians, Pinoys, or Indians?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Singapore News

How much is a worker paid versus how much he has to pay to live




"A family getting by on $117,400 (£87,970) in one US city can now be considered ‘low income’, according to government figures. How can that be the case?
That workers with six-figure salaries could be considered “poor” is something that might surprise many people.
But taking into account income and housing costs that is the reality for some families – who may be eligible for housing assistance – according to a recent report from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In San Francisco and nearby San Mateo and Marin Counties it said $117,400 for a family of four was “low income”, while $73,300 (£54,900) was “very low income” – the highest figures anywhere in the country.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44725026"


The above statement was posted by Cynical Investor to explain the relative income and purchasing power of money. Everything is relative and the numbers are deceiving. We have recently heard Koh Poh Koon lamenting that the productivity of our workers was below the wages they were being paid, ie, our workers are overpaid. So how? He is saying that the wages or our workers are too high, overpaid, so it is necessary to cut down the wages of our workers to be competitive.
This is a very simplistic view of the relationship between wages and productivity. An approach we called single factor analysis, picking on one or two isolated factors to prove a point but really is misinformation or disinformation. The wages of workers are not just measured on productivity alone though productivity is an important factor.

The workers need to live and get on with his life in a given set of parameters in the society or country he lives. He needs to pay for housing, food, clothing, bringing up children, medicare and all the social needs that cost money. This is why there is a term called basic wages that is linked to the cost of living of a country. How much does a person needs just to afford the basic needs of his environment to get by.

Singapore has priced itself to be one of the most expensive city in the world. Some jokers think this is a great achievement and recklessly increasing the cost of living with higher and higher taxes and fees to be on top of the world for the wrong reason. They did not care simply because they are being paid in the millions and would not be affected by the higher cost of living. But for the workers every cent counts and any increases would eat into his already thin wage and would likely to mean he has to give up on things that he no longer has the extra dollar to pay for. They have to cut ends and eat less or live on less.

Does the govt ever consider how much a family needs to live in this most expensive city in the world when the value of money is getting smaller by the day? Before any joker starts to even think of wage cuts, he should be very clear in his mind what is the minimum wage needed to get by in this expensive city. Oh, what expensive, $1,000 wage can buy HDB flats. Oh ya?

In countries like China or India, when cost of living are very low, they could pay their workers low wages but still enough to live comfortably. With the big difference in exchange rates, the workers of these countries would be paid really very little relative to our workers and thus become very competitive relative to their productivity. Would the jokers conveniently say our workers should also be paid the same wage as these workers to be competitive?

The above examples of the income of American workers are obvious and easy to understand even to the dull. The paper value of income must be read in the context of the cost of living of the country. Singapore has prices itself out of competition by its silly and irresponsible policies that ended up in very high cost of living and going higher by the day. And the jokers think that this is sustainable as long as we reduce the wages of our workers to be competitive.

It is very easy to make arguments in a vacuum or use single factor anal-lysis. Just keep farting. Yes the wages are high relative to the wages of developing countries. But our wages are low, some near poverty level, relative to our high cost of living.

So, what is your answer? Raise more taxes, more rentals, higher property prices, higher fees, higher train and bus fairs, build more monuments and charged to the people?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Govt committed to lowering cost of living
“Prices of goods and service in Singapore may be rising at a slower pace, but Singaporeans still feel the squeeze, convinced the cost of living is rising faster.”
What is this statement in thenewpaper trying to say? Prices rising at slower pace so no rising cost of living but Singaporeans, not locals, think cost of living is rising faster and this is not true. Why, because the govt are doing so many things to ease the rising cost of living, like more taxes, higher fees, etc, all working towards lowering the cost of living.
You don’t believe these would work? You forgot that increasing GST is to help the poor? Sugar taxes to reduce diabetes? 30% increase in price of water to reduce usage of water and to teach people the importance of water that falls down from the sky, free? More foreigners are here to provide jobs, good jobs for Singaporeans? And the infamous million dollar ministerial salary to prevent corruption? All these are uniquely Singaporean way to solve our unique problems by our super talented ministers.
And sure they work. Listen to this comment by Chan Chun Sing. “People’s aspirations, and their ability to fulfil them, can also affect their perception of the issue.” Huh, what’s that? Oh, if you have million dollar salary, your perception of rising cost of living would be different from those trying to make ends meet. This one I also know.
And MP Liang Eng Hwa got the gumption to ask if the cost of living has significantly increased. My answer is a definite NO. And I thank Chan Chun Sing for agreeing with me. He said, “But looking at absolute measures, overall inflation in Singapore has, in fact, declined between 2012 and last year, compared with the five year period before it.” See, I am right, inflation is in decline, though still going up and the govt is helping the people to stretch their hard earned dollar.
Personally I know my kopi has gone up from 90c to $1.10, train fares have also gone up, the food in hawker centres also up. No I cannot afford $6 kopi or $10 lunch. So my perception of rising inflation is not true, because I am trying to stretch my dollar to get me as much as I could get.
There is no rising cost of living in Singapore despite our honour of being the most expensive city in the world. This is only a matter of perception. If you are earning million dollar salary, what inflation? And if you know how to stretch your dollar like buying the cheapest things available, eating less, where got inflation? And don’t take public transport if you cannot afford it, try bicycle or walking and you can be richer by saving a few dollars or a few cents.
See, Singapore is a cheap place to live, even if it is the most expensive place in the world. The govt is doing all it could to lower the cost of living and inflation by raising more taxes, hiking more fees and charges. All these are to reduce inflation and cost of living for sure.
Trust me.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Belt tightening versus belt loosening
Hsien Loong’s key speech during the National Day Rally was to teach the people how to change their habits to save some money given the high cost of living in this most expensive city in the world. To the masses, it is belt tightening time and this has been going on for the last few decades. Their lives have been a serial of downgrading and downgrading, from the 5Cs to smaller flats or even selling part of their leases, from country clubs to community clubs, from car ownership to riding bicycles, from eating in restaurants to foodcourts to hawker centres. And to make eating in hawker centres more palatable, without being undignified, like the best thing in the world, Singapore is going to apply for UNESCO recognition that hawker centre is Singapore’s treasured way of life.
One minister has come out in support of this belt tightening exercise. “The Government will do its part – that is our commitment … But at the same time, we hope that people will also think through what they are able to afford and manage and also to make the right choices”: Second Minister for Finance Indranee Rajah on the cost of living in Singapore. Channel NewsAsia
On the other side of the rich poor divide, Chok Tong is telling the people that the ministers are underpaid. Is this the first hint that minister’s exorbitant salary, out of this world’s salary, is going to be raised and is he hinting that the ministers are not happy with their high salary? Are the belts of the ministers too tight and need loosening so that they could fatten themselves more? Looking at everyone one them, ruby and oily cheeks, they really look very well fed. And one MP is driving a Bentley, only an MP and can afford the luxury of a Bentley. Still salary not enough?
The people are told to tighten their belts and the ministers are thinking of loosening their belts, to consume more with higher salary? We are in it together, in the same boat? Anyone hallucinating?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have given up trying to keep up with the numerous hikes in taxes and fees by this govt. Just in 2018 the fees and tax hikes have become very ruthless and the people just could not do anything about it.

Here are some of the hikes.

Singapore is expensive. We are ranked #1 in the world for the most expensive city to live in for 6 consecutive years.

Water prices increase by 30%
GST to rise to 9%
Electricity increase by 6.1%
Gas prices to increase by 4.19%
Service and Conservancy charges increased
COE prices increased
Car park charges increased
… and many more

And these did not include the compulsory deduction of the people's savings in their CPF accounts without their consent to pay for insurance schemes and more schemes are coming.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why sugar tax? What's next, salt tax?




Does sugar cause diabetes?
There are two main types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
In Type 1 diabetes, the insulin producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed by your immune system. No amount of sugar in your diet – or anything in your lifestyle – has caused or can cause you to get Type 1 diabetes.
With Type 2 diabetes, though we know sugar doesn’t directly cause Type 2 diabetes, you are more likely to get it if you are overweight. You gain weight when you take in more calories than your body needs, and sugary foods and drinks contain a lot of calories.
And it's important to add that fatty foods and drinks are playing a part in our nation's expanding waistline.
So you can see if too much sugar is making you put on weight, then you are increasing your risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. But Type 2 diabetes is complex, and sugar is unlikely to be the only reason the condition develops. Diabetes UK.

The above statements by Diabetes UK said it clearly. For Type 1 diabetes, sugar is not a cause of diabetes. Period. In the case of Type 2, sugar is only one of the indirect cause of diabetes. Fatty food, carbohydrates all add to the sugar level in the blood. Fat people are more likely or have a higher chance of getting diabetes. So don't blame sugar as the main culprit. Incidentally Type 1 is the more serious of the two types of diabetes as in this case the pancreas is not producing enough insulin.

The idea of a sugar tax was politely shot down by an Australian professor from Monash, saying that it was ineffective and at best with a small impact. There are many other factors that would lead to diabetes eg lack of exercise, genetics and stress. So if sugar should be taxed because it is one of the indirect causes of diabetes, what's next? Tax on carbohydrates, tax on people not exercising, tax on fatty food?

Why is sugar been identified as a factor to be taxed, and why is tax a solution? Funny reasons and funny solution? Is it all about money, about squeezing more money from the people? Is this another desperate move to raise tax because the govt needs money? And the govt needs your view on whether to tax you or not to tax you and the people are to commit themselves to being taxed?

What about people that need to take sugar, especially children that have an active life and need more sugar while they are growing and playing? Normal and healthy children would easily take care of their sugar intake without fearing diabetes. Personally I need a bit more sugar than usual to keep me buzzing. A lack of sugar will make me drowsy and slow. Sugar is important for people leading an active lifestyle. Sugar is energy. Why should people be penalised and taxed just for living actively? I also have to add salt to my drinks after active physical training. I get cramps when my salt level is low. Would salt be the next thing to be slated for higher taxes? High water tax not enough, sugar, salt also want to tax when these are the basic life necessities, basic building blocks for a healthy lifestyle?

No one is encouraging people to take excessive sugar. A simple solution would be to regulate the sugar content in drinks. Even this does not ensure people consume less sugar as one can drink more packs or bottles instead. But the effect will be there to the casual drinkers. A sugar tax does not directly lead to lower consumption of sugar nor lowering of diabetic cases but lead to more money to the govt coffer.

How many silly buggers would want to tell the govt, please tax me more for consuming more sugar to stop them from taking more sugar?

Once tax is levied on sugar, many many food items would end up being taxed as sugar is a component of the food and leading to higher cost of living.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new poor – A piece of good news
They called themselves freegans, ie, people looking for food or items in trash bins for a living. No, they are not the karanguni men but a group of folks, the new poor in Singapore that have chosen to live a new way of life as freegans. Some even proudly claimed that this is a way to retire in super rich Singapore, no need to work, no stress and with good food from the trash bins.
And here is another piece of good news in this Christmas season from Channel News Asia. ‘Scavenging – Singapore’s ‘freegans’ find treasure in trash – Some of the secondhand items found include a Louis Vuitton handbag, Coach handbag and a set of Sony Speakers.’
Now if this is not good news, what else is? Free branded bags and electronic items! I think many desperate Singaporeans may find comfort in this piece of news. I think I can retire also and live a life of a freegan, and probably can hang a Louis Vuitton bag over my shoulder. If only the COEs are cheaper, the freegans could even find used cars, like 10 year old Mercedes or BMWs in the junkyards.
This is the privilege for living in the most expensive city with many rich people. They are discarding many things of value, even things of luxury, into the trash bins. No wonder some people said this is the best place to be poor. Everything can be provided free, just dig into the trash bins and rubbish dumps.
No more worry to retire in comfort with free food and luxury items. Paradise! Yes paradise for the new poor.
Happy New Year.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

India is a good role model for Singapore's future as a futuristic and modern country

E-Rickshaws to the rescue



Did you know that India boasts more electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) than the total number of battery-powered passenger cars sold in China from 2011 to 2018?

Now the fourth-largest automobile market in the world2, the South Asian nation is leading an electric rickshaw revolution that could help reduce congestion and traffic pollution in India — and serve as a model for countries where rickshaws are a landmark feature. According to Rahul Mishra, a principal at consulting firm AT Kearney, asmany as 11,000 new e-rickshaws hit the street every month — and sales of these cleaner, quieter and faster vehicles show no signs of slowing down....

The above is reported in Yahoo News. India is the darling of Singapore. Many Singapore ministers, now and before, including Chok Tong and George Yeo, are fascinated by this great country that is going to be the Number One super power in the future. Everything India did is astonishing and mesmerising and worth imitating. Indian talents, even from broken down village universities or armed with fake degrees are in high demand in Singapore over graduates from our world renowned super expensive universities.Many are now in positions to manage and teach our daft but highly educated fools.

The huge influx of Indians into Singapore has turned Singapore into an Emerging India. Not only Little India is looking every inch a part of India, the East Coast area has also become an Indian enclave. The rich Indians have bought into many of the condominiums and forming the majority or a substantive majority in these choiced housing. There are many enclaves of Little India in the East Coast.

Oh, I got carried away with my admiration of the Indians' progress in Singapore. This E Richshaw thing is exactly what Singapore needs for the future with cars already beyond the reach of many Singaporeans. And daft Singaporeans are so slow in reinventing themselves and still peddling 19th century richshaws on the streets using leg power.

Here is India's innovation and contribution to the unthinking Singaporeans. Go and learn from India, rebuild a new E Rickshaw industry and flood the roads with clean energy using rickshaws as our means of transportation. It is cheap and good, cheap low class engineering for the good of Singapore and Singaporeans and for turning Singapore into an Emerging India.

One thing for sure, the cost of living will come down and many PMETs can turn to this profession, and can paste their degrees and qualifications on the rickshaws to impress the foreign 'talents' and maids they are fetching to redeem their egos and low self esteem. I am a graduate from world class universities, so don't look down on me.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NTUC helping out in lowering the cost of living
At least the Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation can look forward to some financial relief in July till June next year. They could get their kopi or teh fixes every Wednesday for 50 cents per cup in NTUC foodcourts and Kopitiams. And for Union Members, this privilege comes earlier, in May. According to the media report, 1.7m people are going to benefit from this. If one person is to pay $1 less, that would be $1.7m less to pay every Wednesday.
The NTUC has responded to the fears and concerns of workers’ anxieties about the cost of living. With this discounted kopi and teh, including Kopi O, Kopi C, teh O and teh C, all at 50 cents a cup and one can drink as many cuppas as one like on every Wednesday, the whole day.
Think of the savings from drinking kopi or teh for the whole day, it would come to quite a substantial sum. If one just takes a cup of kopi or the each for 3 meals, it would cost only $1.50 a day. And given the price of Kopi/teh at $1.60, that is more than $3 savings a day. OK, for those millionaires and billionaires, please do not take advantage of this privilege just because there is no mean testing, go for your designer drinks at $5 or $20 a cup in the branded coffee joints. This is for workers in the Pioneer and Merdeka Generations. I will still stick to my 3 in 1 at 20 cents a pack. Hopefully they will look into the 3 in 1s and reduce the price to 10 cents per pack. Then it will be some savings for me to count on.
Would be nice if every Monday or Friday ‘chap chye png’ would be $1 for two veg and a meat meal. Keeping my fingers crossed that this would be next in the list to lower the cost of living for the oldie workers.
Thank you NTUC, you are most kind. Oops, must thank Mary Liew and Ng Chee Meng for this initiative. Every cent counts. It is heartwarming that millionaires could be caring and still think of helping the poor to save a few cents per cuppa.
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