By Leong Sze Hian
BTO flats’ construction to taper off?
I refer to the article “Construction of new flats to taper off from 2014: Khaw Boon Wan” (Straits Times, Dec 3).
It states that “After three years of ramped-up building, the Housing Board is tapering off its “massive construction programme” from next year, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said on Monday.
How many in the queue?
It states that “the average application rate for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats, which fell from 5.3 in 2010 to a low of 2.9 this year.”
– So, instead of just telling us that the average application rate for BTO has dropped – why not disclose the total number of people in the queue for 2, 3, 4 and 5-room flats?
ITE graduates’ highest pay?
I refer to the article “ITE grads get highest starting pay in four years” (Straits Times, Dec 3).
It states that “Students who graduated from the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) last year started their working life with an average monthly salary of $1,646 – the highest in four years.
Their pay was 18 per cent higher than the $1,391 a month earned by those who graduated in 2009, according to an ITE survey.
– So, what was their real median salary growth per annum?
Real salary growth?
Since inflation was about 13.1 per cent from the CPI of 100 in 2009 to 113.1 in 2012, does it mean that the real average salary (not the median) growth per annum was only about 1.6 per cent per annum?
What about the real growth per annum for the median salary? Is it even less than the 1.6 per cent for the average salary?
What was the real growth per annum for the last 5 and 10 years? In this connection, it was disclosed by the Government and reported in the media that the starting salaries of university graduates was stagnant for the last 5 years, after adjusting for inflation.
Sign up for GST Vouchers?
I refer to the article “Singaporeans have till Dec 31 to sign up for GST vouchers” (Straits Times, Dec 3).
It states that”Singaporeans eligible for GST vouchers have until Dec 31 to sign up for them, the Ministry of Finance reminded on Monday.
How many have not signed up?
Those eligible for this year’s GST voucher – Cash and GST voucher – Medisave need to sign up to receive the payments. Only Singaporean residents who do not own more than one property and whose homes have an annual value of $21,000 or less as at Dec 31 of last year are eligible.
For the cash voucher, applicants must be aged 21 or above in 2013, and income earned in 2011 as assessed by the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore must not exceed $24,000. For the Medisave voucher, applicants must be aged 65 and above in 2013.
Singaporeans can call 1800-2222-888 for more details on these two vouchers. They can sign-up online at www.gstvoucher.gov.sg or complete a form at any Community Centre, Community Development Council or CPF Service Centre. All forms must reach the CPF Board before Dec 31. No sign-up is necessary for the GST Voucher – U-Save.”
So beg the question of how many people who are eligible have not signed up yet?
I remember seeing in media reports some years ago giving the statistics on the number who did not sign up and the total sum involved.
Since “No sign-up is necessary for the GST Voucher – U-Save” and it was reported previously – the number who did not sign up – then why is there a need to sign up in the first place?
Grassroots still looking for those who have not signed up?
Also, it used to be reported in the media in previous years that grassroots leaders and volunteers would be knocking on the doors of HDB rental flats and other efforts to help people sign up – is this still being done now?