20140507 Singaporeans should be wary of PAP’s post-dated ‘solution’ as it will bounce

It has been 3 years since GE 2011. With the introduction of PAP’s so called policy changes, have there been real benefits or are they merely illusions?

Housing

There appears to be some cheers as HDB resale prices have been softening since 3 quarters ago. The Resale Price Index is currently at 198.5, (RPI) down from a high of 206.6 in 2013. Mainstream media headlines continue to scream ‘housing market slowing down’, giving the impression that prices have become affordable.

But a more objective look at figures tells a different story. 2011 2nd quarter index figure (last GE) was at 191.6 which means housing is actually less affordable today. Looking at the overall picture, housing prices have actually almost doubled from 106.6 a decade ago.

All the talk about being the price setter by Minister Khaw applies to only new HDB flats and not resale ones. The issue of unaffordable public housing has not been resolved.

Public transportation

More than 300 buses funded under the $1.1 billion BSEP have been added to our bus fleet. Besides using tax dollars for the initial 550 buses, the government intends to fund another 450 buses, of course again with tax dollars. (The 2 PTOs would have collapsed without the injection of public funds. There is no reason for profits to remain with shareholders.)

Although the frequency of buses and trains have increased, one must not forget the population and number of commuters have also gone up. Eventually when the population increases further, it’ll be back to square one again! It is easy to talk about spending $x billion of dollars to expand the fleet but is the problem resolved when roads are unexpandable?

Other issues
The increase in university places, hospital beds, etc are all post- dated and belated ‘solutions’. One should be wary of PAP’s solutions.

NMP Eugene Tan hit the nail on the head when he commented that he sees “immigration as the mother of all issues”. The PAP has again foolishly believed it can resolve issues by simply increasing capacity or throwing X amount of tax dollars at a problem.

There has yet to be discernible meaningful improvements because the root issue has never been addressed. PAP’s ‘solutions’ are at best akin to giving citizens a post-dated cheque which everyone knows will bounce.

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