Beginning on 1 April 2017, all town councils have to set aside a minimum of 14 percent of their Service and Conservancy Charges (S&CC) collections and government grants for lift replacement.
This was announced by the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Monday that all Town Councils will have to set up dedicated Lift Replacement Funds (LRF), to be supplied from their Sinking Funds and ring-fenced for future lift replacements.
The additional collections will be on top of their regular contributions, a minimum of 26 percent of collection from the S&CC, to the general sinking fund.
MND will increase the S&CC operating grants it now gives to the Town Councils to help cover their costs, and also provide additional grants to match part of the Town Councils’ contributions to their LRF. Details of the MND assistance measures will be released separately, it said
Last year, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) announced a $450 million Lift Enhancement Program (LEP) to help fund the costs of modernising older lifts in public housing estates. All town councils will also have to set up dedicated LRFs.
“While the various forms of Government support will go some way in helping the Town Councils meet their long-term expenditure needs, all Town Councils must also do their part,” the ministry said.
In December the People’s Action Party (PAP) has announced that all 15 town councils under its charge will allocate $45 million over the next five years to improve the safety and reliability of lifts. The Workers’ Party-run Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) has also announced on the same day, AHTC expects to spend $17.5 million to replace selected lifts over the next five years, ahead of those lifts’ usual 28-year lifespan under HDB guidelines.
John Tan, the Vice-Chairman of Singapore Democratic Party had earlier written an open letter last week to the Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, asking about the banning of Sigma Elevator, a lift manufacturer in October 2015. Mr Tan lodged the question because even after a spate of serious lift malfunctions that resulted in severe injuries and even one death, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong did not disclose this fact when asked about lift breakdowns in the Parliament.