Response to NDR 2023

NDR 2023: MORE OF THE SAME

Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced efforts to help Singaporeans in jobs, cost of living, retirement adequacy and public housing.

The PSP welcomes Age Well SG, and supports the Government’s goal of helping seniors to age in place with compassion and dignity. We are also glad that the Government has taken up our call to top up the Medisave accounts of older Singaporeans, of which many are low-income, as part of the Majulah Package. But the Majulah Package ultimately would not have been needed to address Singaporeans’ retirement adequacy if Singapore implemented a living wage.

While the Government’s announcement to provide some form of financial support to our retrenched workers is welcomed, the PSP believes that the ultimate priority should be preventing job displacement and creating good jobs for Singaporeans.

The PSP also notes with concern the Government’s determination to continue with the GST hike, despite acknowledging that the cost of living in Singapore is continuing to increase. The PSP repeats its objection to the GST hike and calls on the PAP Government to scrap the GST hike.

Finally, I, as well as many Singaporeans, were hoping that the Government would have the courage to slay its sacred cow and deal with the root of the public housing problem, the land cost.

However, the Government merely announced that they would be abolishing the Mature/Non-Mature estate label, and increasing the complexity of our public housing system by creating the Standard, PLH- and PLH categories, accompanied by even more rules.

It is now clear that the Government is kicking the can down the road and hoping that public discontent over public housing will go away with minor policy tweaks and the illusionary promise of VERS, that do not address high prices, retirement inadequacy and lease decay.

The PSP is extremely concerned that the increasing inequity of our housing system becomes irreversible. We urge the Government to seriously consider adopting the Affordable Housing Scheme and Millennial Apartments Scheme to ensure that public housing remains accessible to Singaporeans without jeopardising their retirement.

Singaporeans deserve better.

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