As an ordinary Singaporean, my views and thoughts on the Budget:
1) Rebates have to be passed on,
For both Taxi operators as well as landlords. They will be receiving rebates from the government this year, the speech mentioned that these rebates will in turn be passed on to the taxi drivers as well as tenants.
Question is will they do so or to what extent? Its good to know that Comfort is doing so...
I personally felt that it would be better for the government to pass the rebates straight to them whereby they can then pass it on to the consumers, that is people like us who had got retrench, pay cut, no bonuses or force to take unpaid leave.
And I have no idea how rental rebates can be done if let's say I had signed an agreement in 2008 or 2007 for 3 years. That is to say I will have to pay that amount stated in the contract for 3 years. Hence even if the rebates had been passed on to the landlords, as tenants I don’t get to benefit from it.
The increase in grant and income ceiling offers little or no help to home-seekers.
By increasing income ceiling, we could be encouraging people to purchase flats that they cannot afford. It would be better to review the cost of HDB flats.
3) GST credits,
It would be better to either reduce our current GST back to 5% for everything or for necessities.
This is particularly true for the squeezed middle income with an average of 4 people per household.
With probably 2 parents working and bigger flats, they are entitled to lesser GST credits. But that doesn’t means that their expenses are any lower.
Let's look at Eg: Point F.15
Such family will receive about $2200 in 2009 that is about $180/ month.
If a pay cut had taken place say about 5% of the higher income of the two that is 5% of $4500 = $225, $180 may not be sufficient and worse still if the 5% pay cut applies to the spouse too.
4) More can be done for PA,
The definition for most vulnerable has to be flexible that is case by case, in order for the assistance to be beneficial.
Make application for PA accessible especially if these are for people who are unable to work due to old age or illness. Currently there are only 5 places one can go to.
I think the increase is reasonable…given the fact that inflation stands at about 6%, $30 of $330 is about 9%.
More details for F.22 please? Like how to make it affordable? Through the use of case-mix?
6) Jobs Credit,
I welcome the move as it decreases expenses for companies.
As per the budget, employer will receive 12% of the first $2500 of the wages of each employee who is on CPF payroll.
My question is what about those earning below $2500? Low income earners? Do we need to take a look at how we can make both WBS and WIS better so as to help the lower income during times as such?
If this applies to only $2500 and above , companies may have the tendency to employ foreigners whom they can pay lower and do without CPF. This group of people may eventually be phased out.
Eventually Jobs Credit may not necessarily save jobs, Chartered Semiconductor is cutting 600 jobs worldwide, unfortunately 540 of them will be in Singapore.
7) TV License,
Something is really wrong with our TV license. I cannot understand why we are paying $110? Could this be reduced?