One more point that seems to have been lost. I AGREE there IS an issue with AFFORDABILITY! Young couples are struglling for sure.
I just have an issue with all the half-baked harping on what constitutes a subsidy and whether the HBD is being transparent. C'mon people, are you really interested in tackling the real issue of affordability or are you just interested in bashing the HDB for nonsensical perceived slights?
It's ok for Govt to make big profits. But thru other sources of investments such as GIC, temasek..etc. But not from it's citizens...especially in areas of "basic" stuffs like housing.
then again, Singaporeans have themselves to take a portion of the blame too... why need a 5 roomer when a 4 or 3 room would suffice? Few do not take into consideration that a flat is "Fixed Asset" and is not that liquid and did not factor the possibility of economic downturn that might affect their ability to maintain their loan payments.
Lets be clear-- govts should not exist to make money, they exist to provide public service. They should not overtax or overcharge the people.
And what is your definition or threshold for 'overtax' and 'overcharge'. Do you actually have a firm number or are we speaking theoretically only? Can you then plug that number into a model and see where that will leave SG in 20 years?
G-ment should exist for one reason, to make the best place for its people to live, sustainably. Whether they make a profit or not, or how much, is completely immaterial.
Last edited by dkw; 22nd July 2008 at 06:58 PM.
However, back to public housing.. does HDB flats incurs GST? IIRC private developers do charge GST.
neither can i show any figures (no graph, no chart) on how fast the prices of a HDB unit 20yrs ago has appreciated today, but it has. yet there is a huge reserve dunno for whom. i turn into ashes den use?
Last edited by sORe-EyEz; 22nd July 2008 at 07:08 PM.
1. Really? "Public" money? Impact on the economy? How? Our govt already said they can't really do pump priming because of the open nature of our economy.
Ride out bumps? Giving handouts? Give Progress Shares? That's basically redistribution of wealth, taking money from one group of people and giving to another group of people. Does that really help the economy? The net amount of money in Singapore remains the same. In fact, it's worse off for everyone because we have to cover the cost involved in the redistribution.
But in case you think such help is uniquely Singapore, in other countries people call it welfare and unemployment benefits
Finance family-friendly schemes? If they taxed people less they wouldn't need to finance such schemes! How do you expect people to have more children when HDB flats are so expensive, and the rooms so few and so small? Today's generation not like your grandfather time, when kids willingly slept 5 to a room, on the floor.
2. Don't confuse fiscal discipline with revenue philosophy. Fiscal discipline is expected of any govt, that's why they have auditors to scrutinise the accounts of public agencies, that's why the Budget must be debated and approved by Parliament, which theoretically is made up of representatives of the people.
The philosophy-- that surpluses are good for the country-- that's a different thing, has nothing to do with fiscal discipline.
3. I'd have to have access to lots of state secrets before I could come up with a figure for you. But suppose we can run govt services comfortably without loss even at half of today's tax rates. I think I would cut the tax rates.
What would you do?
By your logic then resale flats should be the same price as private apartments. Doesn't work, right? Does the resale flat seller subsidise the buyer? Obviously he wanted to sell it for as high a price as he can get, so why would he subsidise anybody?
Fiscal discipline has got nothing to do with auditing, and has everything to do with whether you are saving for a rainy day.
Cut the tax rates? Yay! Government tax revenues are a matter of public record, give it a go, I'd be interested to see.
The HDB flat clearly loses out in terms of raw value compared to private property. Hence it is priced cheaper.
I don't see anything wrong with your Japanese car analogy. Basically you pay more for a better product.
I suppose dkw thinks that our HDB flats are as good a product as private condominiums.
Lifts which don't stop at every floor, no swimming pool, restrictions on selling etc etc.
If two sides have made their points and there is nothing left to rebutt, then there is no copping out.
If one side makes a substantive point in robust rebuttal to another's initial point, and the other side says "Aiya I don't want to bother to explain to you, you already fixed in your mindset", then that is copping out.
Kindly don't quote me out of context.