By Leong Sze Hian

I refer to the articles “‘Range of aid for needy, flexible rules’” (Straits Times, Nov 12).


18 assistance schemes?

In the accompanying chart “Many lines of help” – 18 Targeted Measures are listed – such as Public Assistance, Subsidies for education, healthcare and housing, etc.

Total social spending?

What is the amount spent in total for all the schemes, and for each scheme?

Lowest in the world?

I estimate that the grand total may be less than 1 per cent of GDP – one of the lowest in the world.

HDB subsidies?

Moreover, are the housing subsidies and Additional and Special CPF Housing Grants really subsidies, when the HDB makes profits on HDB, without disclosing the costs of flats?

Healthcare subsidies?

From a cashflow perspective, is the Government spending a single cent on healthcare when public healthcare spending including Medifund payouts and the Community Health Assist Scheme, etc, are less than our Medisave contributions in a year?

 Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) subsidy?

Since the Government does not spend a single cent on CPF, because it is our own money – and utilise our CPF by paying us as low as 2.5 per cent on the bulk of our CPF – is the Workfare Income Supplement really assistance – from a cashflow perspective, as the bulk of WIS goes to CPF?

One of the lowest public spending as % of GDP?

In this connection, according Roy Ngerng, “our government spends the least public spending for Singaporeans, as compared to the other developed countries” – Singapore’s at just 17.0 per cent Government spending as a percentage of GDP in 2012, compared to a range of 34.7 to 56.1 per cent for Switzerland and France, respectively.

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