By Leong Sze Hian
1) Tourists come to look for jobs?
… Apparently, an increasing number of foreigners are coming as tourists to look for jobs in Singapore. Foe example, tourists arrivals from one ASEAN country had an increase of 24.5% to 678,000 in 2011, from 2010. Just for the first 6 months of this year alone, the number is already 358,000. Media reports say that such tourists have been able to extend their tourist visa to as long as 4 months to secure a job.
2) Foreign workers’ levies hit record high?
… Foreign workers’ levies and fees are estimated to hit $3 billion for the year. It was $2.6 billion in 2011. This may cause prices charged to consumers to increase, and arguably also depress wages for both foreigners and Singaporeans.
3) Most expensive monthly public transport pass in the world?
… After adjusting for PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) using the same PPP in the Fare Review Mechanism Committee (FRMC) report, the monthly cost for unlimited travel on public transport passes in Hong Kong, London, New York and Tokyo, is S$72 plus, S$162, S$116 and S$100 respectively. This makes them about 60, 15, 39 and 47% cheaper than Singapore’s monthly pass at S$190. The 2 transport operators have applied for fare increases.
4) $3 Nasi Padang?
… Nasi Padang and Bandung can cost as little as $3, despite inflation hitting a high of 2.6% in November. (source)
5) 2-room flats increased 57%?
… The cheapest 2-room flat in Sengkang increased by 22 per cent, from $68,000 (June 2010) to $83,000 (January 2012). The latest BTO in Sengkang in July 2013 saw an increase in the 2-room price to $91,000 (Fernvale Lea) and $107,000 (Rivervale Arc). This is an increase of about 34 to 57 per cent in the 3 years from June 2010 to July 2013, or an increase of about 10.2 to 16.3 per cent per annum.
6) Largest wage disparity?
… Singapore has the largest wage disparity among workers of different educational levels among all the high-income countries. The wages of workers with polytechnic diploma or lower would remain stagnant or drop over time, as they age. The poorest 20% in Singapore have only 5% of the share of all income while the richest 20% have 49% of the share of all income (in 1998) – the largest disparity among the high-income countries.
7) Pensioners’ medical benefits?
… Some civil service pensioners discover that their free medical benefits’ coverage is pegged to SGH’s charges. So, they may have to pay the difference if they go to other public hospitals which may have higher charges.
8) Lowest wages?
… Low-wage workers in Singapore earn the lowest wages compared to the Nordic countries, the median wage of Singaporean is also the lowest among the Nordic countries.
9) Long-term unemployment increase?
… More are remaining unemployed longer — at least 25 weeks — compared to a year ago, in particular those with post-secondary qualifications. According to the Manpower Ministry’s labour market report for the third quarter, the long-term unemployment rate as of September was 0.6 per cent — 12,500 residents — up from 0.4 per cent a year ago.
10) Never spend on healthcare, CPF and HDB?
… From a cashflow perspective, the Government did not spend a single cent on healthcare, CPF and HDB.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year