The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has published the fourth edition of the Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR) and said that Singaporeans’ lives are improved amid challenges that exist.
The 2016 report took stock of how Singapore has fared in key areas of national interest, focusing on whole-of-government outcomes and indicators that reflect both current and emerging policy concerns and issues.
It wrote that more companies are now heeding the government’s call to innovate and improve productivity. Stating that in 2015, SPRING supported some 22,000 projects, double the number supported in 2014. Collectively, these efforts are expected to contribute about $6.9 billion in cumulative value-add and create about 19,000 new jobs, of which 75% are projected to be skilled jobs, when fully implemented over the next 3 years.
The report also says that in terms of healthcare affordability, with the Pioneer Generation Package, the number of Pioneers who felt assured that healthcare costs would remain affordable has increased from 77% in 2014 to 87% in 2015, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Communications and Information.
It also says that home ownership has remained high at about 92% over the past four years. The Debt Servicing Ratio of new 4-room HDB flats in non-mature estates, which form the bulk of new flat supply, dropped from 25% in 2014 to 22% in 2015. This is an indication that public housing has become more affordable for first-time home buyers due to recent policy changes, such as the increase in housing grants.
In 2015, trains clocked 133,000 train-km before encountering a delay of more than five minutes, a distance that is 40% more than the 93,000 train-km recorded in 2014. But we can do better, both in terms of achieving a higher mean distance travelled before encountering a delay, and minimising the number of service delays lasting more than 30 minutes.
The report also states that there was a slight increase of about 3% in the overall crime rate per 100,000 population in 2015 compared to 2014, largely due to the rising number of online commercial crimes. Nonetheless, the overall law and order situation in Singapore remains under control.
It pointed that there had been 33,725 new borns in 2015, the highest in more than a decade and the resident total fertility rate remained relatively stable in 2014 and 2015. Noting that from 1 January 2017, fathers will be entitled to a second week of mandated government-paid paternity leave while unwed mothers will be entitled to 16 weeks of maternity leave. Over 90% of Pioneers enjoyed subsidies for their visits to specialist outpatient clinics, polyclinics or CHAS clinics, between September 2014 and December 2015.
Overall, painting a rosy picture of what have transpired over the year and a wonderful year ahead in which Singaporeans can look forward to come.
However, from what can be seen from the response in regards to the report, majority are in the disagreement of the findings by MOF.
One of such citizens who disagreed with the MOF findings, Peter Tan, said not to be fooled by such surveys. He wrote, “Let us all not be fooled by such surveys,the jobs that command almost sure of yearly increment belong to the civil sector or large companies,there are many smaller firms whose employees never receive any increment at all.These are the ones struggling think that is fake? No.The clear fact.And these are the ones who slogged the longest hours of anyone else yet without an increment or chances of promotion is slim too.”
Another netizen, Freddie Seah wrote, “It is strange that there is not a single comment here that agree with the report. Isn’t this enough feedback that the report is not accurate. Definitely, real income has not improved. Stop sugar coating the truth and lying thru the teeth. When we open our eyes, we see more unemployed Singaporeans, expensive houses etc.”
Jenny Lim shared her own experience by writing, “My company year 1 no increment at all, 2nd year and until now not more than 3%. Bonus? Got la, less than one month, but after paying all bills, keep for income tax, donation, extra pocket money for parents (they also want bonus), how much left? Sigh. But I’m still happy as better than out of job. Bonus is extra for me, if have more I am happy, if less, beside those bills that cannot skip, I spend less.”
William Ng also shared his personal experience, saying, “No, I don’t see my lives has improved with higher income for the past few year. How can I achieved that when I don’t have pay rise for the past 3 years? I guess this survey should be relevant for our civil servant only where they get pay rise every year even if the economy is not doing well.”
Simon Lee questioned the report, writing, “Selective reporting leh… it’s easy for someone to pat his own back and say he has done well. Why not have an independent study on the state of the nation? In fact, it doesn’t take a study to know tt Singaporeans are marginalized and losing jobs. This report is skewed to show half truth. Singaporeans ain’t idiots to be so easily fooled.”
Wong Lam wrote, “Another load of rubbish. Talk to anyone in the street and they will tell you life is getting tougher and that they will have to cut corners to get by…be realistic next time or you make yourself a laughing Stork.”
Alan Lee wrote, “Salary went up by 3 % but our cost of living went up even more. We still manage to retain our unbeaten title as the most expensive country in the world.”
Rudy RR wrote, “Income grew. What about inflation? Not talking about statistics. But street prices. How many percent have your bowl of noodles, plate of rice, etc, increased over the past couple of years compared to yours wages? When rental, utilities, transportation charges (ERP, COE) go up, they have an effect on businesses, which will pass the cost to you and me. They went up too. Not just wages.”
Kenny Oh wrote, “Pilot not wage growth. Besides this report’s headline is nonsense because inflation went up too and wage is still lagging behind inflation”
Neo Wee Min wrote, “Who and where does these surveys go or lead to? What good of money spent on these if it doesn’t rhyme with the readers nor any bring about any effect. What is income increase if costs are rising faster than ever. It only benefits foreigners who can fund their retirements and villas back home. But not Singaporeans who has, will be buried here. If there is even a place to.”