The following is Mr Chiam See Tong's response to the Budget 2011.
BUDGET STATEMENT 2011
This is an election Budget.
The strategy is that of the US use during the pacific war against the Japanese whenever they want to take an island, the Americans will bombard that island with heavy artillery from the sea and dropped bombs from the air until the island’s defenses have become ineffective, then the Americans land their troops to physically occupy the island.
Similarly the ruling party will soften the ground and the constituencies with attractive goodies and sweeteners during the election period, even more so on the actual election year.
This year’s budget did not address the major problems that our country is still currently facing particularly rising cost inflation.
Cost of living (General)
Public housing, healthcare, transport, basic foodstuffs, and even ERP has increased drastically but the salary of the lower and middle income earners have not increased to the extent and most of the Singaporeans is undergoing turmoil in the current situation.
The government should take a drastic step to lower the cost of living. The government should review the GST and may consider abolishing GST for some basic necessities.
It should control the influx of foreigners so that Singaporeans have more employment opportunities.
Minimum salary levels for Singaporeans should be recommended by the trade unions depending on the cost of living.
HDB should change the policy to sell the HDB flats at cost-plus pricing instead of market based pricing. Any grants or subsidy granted is just a shot term solution.The government should do more in making the public housing affordable for the Singaporeans. Is there any review for the pricing of public housing under consideration by Ministry of National Development?
It is ever increasing.
Despite all the top-ups in the medisave account, it is insufficient for a lower or even middle income to manage the health cost.
Not enough beds in the hospital, long waiting time for appointments and walk in are some of the common problem the public are being faced on day to day basis.
Does the government have any concrete plans to improve on these services?
How is the government going to tackle the ever rising healthcare cost?
I would expect the healthcare cost to be lowered and be affordable to our citizens rather than catering to well off foreign patients who inevitably raise up the cost of medical care.
Chiam See Tong
1st March 2011