A response to ‘who is destroying the affordability of our basic cost of living’

Singapore, increase, opportunity, government, salary, energy, NTUC

The Independent Singapore (TISG) published an open letter from a netizen that it said was circulating on WhatSapp. 

This being the weekend and it’s raining as well…..

In the open letter, the netizen asked: “Who is destroying the affordability of our basic cost of living?”

1. the hardships faced by the average Singaporeans when everything is going up except for their salary or income
 
Not true that salary is not going up. Nurses’ salaries are going up. Teachers will get a raise. Retail staff are getting a raise. Workers in Singapore will see a higher increase in their salaries in 2022, with expected average salary increases of 3.5%, according to ECA International’s Salary Trends Report.
 
The Government will co-fund 50 per cent of pay increases made this year and next year, 30 per cent of pay increases in 2024 and 2025, and finally, 15 per cent of pay increases in 2026,
2. how can the 4G politicians within the current PAP government still feel that it is justifiable to initiate an increase in GST
 
It is during difficult times like this that the GST is even more keenly needed if more assistance is to be givenn to help low income families cope with cost of living
3. If Singapore is indeed a land of opportunity, then we may have to ask the government who are the real beneficiaries of all the socio-economic opportunities,
 
Almost 60% of our local workforce today are in PMET jobs, up from 30% in the early 1990s, and the highest in the world. These are among the beneficiaries of socio-economic opportunities. 
4. if Singapore is indeed a land of endless opportunities as exclaimed by pro-government supporters, why aren’t we seeing an exodus of politicians, … to venture into these “perceived” land of opportunities?
 
It’s actually the other way round for politicians from the PAP. Many of our ministers left great opportunities behind them to serve in government. They gave up opportunities in order to serve.  Among them are Edwin Tong who would have earned millions in private practice in law, Dr Koh Poh Koon and Dr Ng Eng Hen who gave up their private practices in medicine to serve in government, Law Minister Shanmugam could have easily earned millions upon millions if he had remained in private practice,
5. when his current 4G government was caught flat-footed by the pandemic, our Gold Standard for Public Healthcare was ripped to pieces
 
Certainly not. Our public healthcare held up well. Anyone can see that. Hiccups were to be expected but overall, Singapore did better than most countries. We took care of everyone regardless of nationalities. Even our migrant workers are well taken care of and given a high level of medical care, just like any Singaporean. 
6. just how badly the 4G ministers had failed to even plan or manage the security of our food & basic essentials
 
Utter rubbish. Given the supply chain disruptions and closed borders, the 4G leaders and Minister Chan Chun Sing in particular, did well to ensure food on the table and masks for everyone. Singapore is the only country that has several rounds of distributions of free masks, hand sanitisers, and ART kits to ensure everyone has essential supplies to cope with the pandemic. 
7. when the world faces the current energy crisis, why are we still caught in sudden price hike when we are supposed to have a substantial amount of energy reserves in our stockpile to buffer us against any sudden surge in pricing
 
Tsk tsk! The time we think of dipping into energy reserves must be when imports have somehow stopped not because we don’t want to import. Otherwise, we don’t touch energy reserves when we can still buy energy albeit at higher price. Think about it. Would you start eating rice in your storehouse because the prices of rice has gone up and you want to save some money from the price increase
8. So what is the use of Lee’s call to Singaporeans to stand in solidarity with them when we still have to “walk alone” when it matters most, as the current socio-economic upheaval has shown?
 
Nah, Singaporeans do not walk alone. The poor in Singapore get a lot of support and assistance. Didn’t Prof Tommy Koh share recently that someone told him that it was better to be poor in Singapore than to be poor elsewhere? Why? Because the poor here never walk alone.
9. To think that NTUC can be worth billions in assets and is literally everywhere in Singapore but has nothing to show regionally or internationally, … If NTUC lacks the deep skill-sets needed to regionalize or internationalize, then why are they allowed to be so entrenched in training…
 
Whoever wrote the open letter must be referring to FairPrice because NTUC is a trade union and really, how can anyone expect a local trade union to go regional and international?
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