Wednesday, April 07, 2010

High Housing Cost : Blame the people!


What is worse than a govt that implements bad policies? A govt that implements bad policies then blame the people who suffer from their bad policies for its negative effects. Sickening isn't it? But the PAP govt has done it again.

"Unrealistic expectations are a reason for some unhappiness about flats"
- Straits Times, 7 April 2010.
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The PAP govt opened the floodgates to foreign labor and did not expand the supply of housing accordingly causing the price of flat to escalated by more than 50% in 4 years. Yet it blames the problem on ordinary Singaporeans for having unrealistic expectations. The Straits Times article "Mr. Minister, a nice home, with nice view now please" is extremely insulting - it rubs salt on the wounds of ordinary Singaporeans who are now struggling with the high cost of living and belittles the financial pain ordinary Singaporeans suffer to own a home.
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Please read the whole article to pick up flaws. One especially serious one is the chart of median household income vs housing prices. It was meant to illustrate that rising house price is due to rising household income. Using household income is extremely misleading as it has risen because more married women are pushed into the workforce due to the rising cost of living i.e. higher housing prices can drive household income up. Also, rising housing prices can cause couples with difficulties owning a home to share a place with their parents causing household income to rise. Our median worker income rising far slower(median income in 2000[Link] and median income in 2009[Link]). The Reform Party pointed out the discrepency why using household income can be misleading because of the effects of large number of PRs:
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"Firstly though he omits to tell us, he probably means residents (which include PRs) and not just citizens when he talks about Singaporean households. Over the past decade the resident population grew by 15% while the resident labour force grew by approximately 25%. This was undoubtedly due to the surge in new citizens and PRs as a result of the government’s liberal immigration policies. The majority of these new residents did not have dependents (hence the much faster rise in the resident labour force than the resident population) and all of them would have had jobs so the proportion of working adults in the average resident household would have risen. As a result we would have seen an increase in real median income per household member without any real increase in the median incomes of Singaporean citizens who were already here before this period began, i.e., the majority of us. Another reason why the Minister’s figure is misleading is that it excludes households consisting solely of non-working persons over 60. If their incomes fell during this period or their numbers increased as a proportion of total households), due not only to the aging population but also because of the diminished employment opportunities for senior citizens as a result of the government’s open-door foreign worker policy, then excluding this group would distort the figure for median income per household member and make it look better than it really is" [Link]
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The article uses "resident household income" instead of "Singaporean household income"- to tell how badly affected were Singaporeans by rising housing costs, you have to use Singaporean incomes as a measure. Using misleading statistics to push the blame for the housing situation to ordinary Singaporeans who are finding it increasing hard to cope with rising cost of living is highly irresponsible. The Minister should address the problem directly instead of denying responsibility.

48 comments:

LKYcalledmeDAFT said...

Is it realistic for the government to have million dollar salaries as their expectation given that the president of the superpower of the world doesn't equally expect as much?

They used to fuck us from the backdoor. Then they started fucking us from the backdoor. Now it has reached to such an extent they're fucking us from the front door AND the back door simultaneously.

LKY called me daft. Do you think the government will use gifts to buy back insults? Do you think the government will offer ERS, NSS, Progress Package and what not gifts to buy back their insults?

Not time this. Not anymore.

Anonymous said...

Mr Minister.

I'm pretty sure majority of the population didn't ask for that.

Majority of the population can't even buy a HDB DEPOSIT these days.

So Mr Minister? How? We're all university graduates too, and we have already worked for 5 years without a clue if we would still be employed the next year.

How Mr Minister? Will you stop talking cock on the media and answer me? You have at least 100,000 people in this situation in Singapore, I'm pretty sure.

Anonymous said...

But why the PAP dare to keep on blaming and insulting the people and do all kinds of things that badly affect the locals?

Are they not afraid they will lose more votes, more seats or even their power?

Obviously they have analysed the ground and the conclusion is, no problem still OK to blame and insult.

They never got it wrong for the past 45 years. Will they get it wrong this time?

Have to wait to see lah. I am getting impatient.

Anonymous said...

i read a comment in the venerable 154th that the mother of a reader used to spit at this malboro guy. i din appreciate that.

now that i have read lucky's post, yeah, i'll get ready to spit at malboro when i next see his face on newspapers/tv.

goes on to prove how decadent pap has become.

vote out the pigs, bring on change!

Anonymous said...

While the ruling party stick to their refusal to pander to the electorade, they may possibly be digging their own graves. Recent unhappiness have been fanned by the seemingly lack of leadership and lack of communication from those who are paid to do so. Those who do so are talking rubbish. We are now in a transactional phase of government, high pay, high expectations, not excuses for their policy flaws.

Anonymous said...

Though it may be a bit out of the loop, but I think all the issues in the society are interlinked...

I learnt from some quarters and especially industries that require high labour that AWOL and foreign workers problems which in turn affected the local workers are common headaches in the organisation, which means that the drop in productivity may not be due to the workers not working hard enough.

Anonymous said...

pigs are petter, don't vote them out or you'll end up with cheets, charm-ah and the low fart yeh.

Anonymous said...

If Mas Selamat's escape from high detention ubder the ISD can be blamed on Singaporeans being 'complacent', any wonder if everything that went wrong is also the people's fault. The MIW is desperate as it sees the looming GE as a watershed with much misgivings about the party's losses.

Anonymous said...

In 1995, When I was buying my first HDB flat, both my wife and I had about 20K each in our CPF account. We bought a 5 room flat in Yew Tee, which back then was equivalent to the present Sengkang in status and location. There was no MRT line with just one feeder bus from Choa Chu Kang. The whole estate consisting of several blocks was available to me to choose from. I was quite picky and finally choose one. I like most young couple was happy and so were so many upgraders. And then Mah Bow Tan the loser from Potong Pasir entered parliament through the back door and become Housing minister and the rest is history on how a good policy became bad and the population got screwed. But then when a back door entrant says we are to blame the we listen. If only the rest of the population were as smart as the ones in Potong Pasir, we would not be in a situation.

Anonymous said...

Anyone expecting the SIN Leaders to blame and hold themselves culpable of their sins indeed must be daft.

Soon Sinners will be totally played out, sold off and left high and dry.

Anonymous said...

Anyone expecting the SIN Leaders to blame and hold themselves culpable of their sins indeed must be daft.

Soon Sinners will be totally played out, sold off and left high and dry.

Anonymous said...

Vote wisely. Vote to reduce cost of housing to half so more can own more than one home!!!

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I don't think HDB is entirely to blame. All these HDB complaints are getting stale. In the first place, HDB shouldn't be providing housing for 85% of the population - the wage gap between the top 75% percentile and bottom 15% percentile is too wide - and the 75% percentile will always drive up the prices to unaffordable levels for the bottom 15% percentile. I think instead of keep complaining about high HDB prices, some of you should start thinking about solving the ROOT of the problem, which is HDB taking a more "hands off" approach and providing affordable housing to perhaps only 30% of the population. The enterprising private market price will also adjust accordingly downwards when more people with lower income levels get into the private market. Sometimes we really have to think out of the box. And instead of blaming the garmen if you didn't get a high floor good view best location flat so that you can make $ when you sell.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, the HDB never force anyone to buy their properties. Instead we always get to see the people queing for days and nights and even get others to queue on behalf. This trend applies to private properties as well. How dare singaporeans blame their govt ? Audacious !

Anonymous said...

If my understanding is correct, the household income statistics is based on the IRAS data, which assumes the people from the same postal address are in one household.

But obviously the close to 2 Million PR/EP residents have to live somewhere, like, rent a room in a HBD flat...

Anonymous said...

I am not an expert, but I think the graph is very much influenced by when the 100 benchmark is set. For example, if 2001 is chosen as 100 instead of 1999 then the results would be quite different and could be used for telling another story.

sgcynic said...

Interesting call for us to look at the ROOT of the problem.

What are SOME problems that we are facing?

1. Loose immigration policy that grants PR status to 2 in 3 applicants.
2. Loose foreign worker policy that allows the huge inflow of foreign labour at all levels and sectors of the economy.
3. Failure to meet demand in flats over the last several years.
4. Raising income-gap
5. Stagnating wage levels that cause increasing number of families to fall into homelessness and the poverty trap

So WHAT is the ROOT of our problems? WHOSE policies created these problems? What is the ROLE of the government? What is the MISSION of the HDB? Are they doing their JOB?

Anonymous said...

Agreed with Anonymous@11.02. The flats around 1995 to 1998 are affordable - $140K for a 4-room & $240K for a 5-room (in Sengkang). A young couple will definitely be able to pay off the amount for a 4-room within 10 years. There was also no MRT but just feeder buses. We were picky but at least we still picked one and were happy to be moving into the new flat - we are still staying there. Then MBT started his policy on this and that and that was when things went wary. What has been working fine for many decades go down the drain - Why changes what's not broken??

Anonymous said...

I do not know if the rest of the population believes in the information or statistics provided by the government but I do not. If the government which acquires land cheap and sells the flats to 85% of the population at the world's most expansive public housing prices and claims it is losing money, must be most inefficient government of all time or the most corrupted. Lets not forget that private housing cost is rising not because of pure demand only but the governments control of land with reserve pricing. Yet HDB prices are almost reaching private prices when the cost of land is much cheaper.

Anonymous said...

Anything new????

Like that only the gahmen can plug the $58B loss and other titanic losses caused by that 'suay' woman!

Everywhere she go also lose money.

If put her as CEO of resort world, I think the casino can lose money.

Root cause for sgporeans misery - that 'suay' woman!

Anonymous said...

I cannot be sure but either the MM or SM mentioned that the residents of Potong Pasir were daft to reject Mah. Yet the PAP gave him to us without asking and not only is the whole population suffering but so are the residents of Potong Pasir. I will bet my last cent that Mah will never be elected in a single seat ward.If he has the balls in the first place to do it. He fled Potong Pasir after losing and so I do not expect him to do so now. So much for democracy. Ours is nothing but a farce election.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:37

I think that CCB (chau char-bo bin) must go for plastic surgery. And just maybe after that, Sinkapooreans may be able to see change for the better.

Anyone can recommend a Korean plastic surgeon?

See that CCB make me lose my appetite.

Anonymous said...

What's worse than a govt that implements bad policies and then blames the citizens? A spineless press that carries the balls of that govt which implements bad policies and then blames citizens. Mass propaganda to brainwash the people and sing praises of the PAPpies.

The graph of median household salary does NOT even say it's for "Residents". Hence I will conclude that it includes foreigners too, including ang-moh CEOs and investment bankers.

And can Mr Horse please shut-up with his childhood sob story already?!? In fact, he damn f*cking lucky he was born 60 yrs ago. If Mr Horse is born after 1990, he would be at most a diploma graduate fighting with Cheena and Ah-Neh technicians for $1.7K jobs, and filled with "irrational" fears of immigrants.

Anonymous said...

This is actually a very intelligent thing for the government to do.

Make life intolerable for the populace, and they will be eternally grateful when you ease it a little during election time.

Anonymous said...

well. isn't it the fault of the people of tampines? they voted him in over the last few elections. Singaporeans deserves ministers like these.

Anonymous said...

High Housing Cost : Blame the people!!!

TOTALLY AGREE. Thanks to all the people continuing supporting the government over and over elections. Even thought the opposition suxs, I think the government still need challenges. Its only when changes occurred we will see the different.

Anonymous said...

Vote for half price HDB and buy TWO for the price of one(today's price)

Vote wisely!!

Anonymous said...

Mr Minister,
Before I read the article this morning, I laugh at the header in disbelieve. Try again. Your reason is still not convincing. Too many foreigners (i.e Tom Dick and Harry includes PR) flow into SG in a short period of time. This is the reason for a high HDB price. Market is made the decision. High demand + low supply = price increase. Convince me? Try again. I am not stupid.

Anonymous said...

You guys are confusing "Unrealistic expectations are A reason for some unhappiness about flats"

with...

"Unrealistic expectations is THE reason for some unhappiness about flats"

There's nothing factually wrong with the headline. It's what's not said that sets the bees on a frenzy.

Then again, do you expect the self-proclaimed elites to elaborate on mistakes made, when it's much easier to attribute these to the incompetence of lesser mortals.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess they're just going to have to keep getting foreigners to migrate here then. How to make babies with the in-laws in the living room?!?!? And who has the mood for lurve when you can only come home after the sun has set?!?! Let's not even talk about a nice home with a nice view. Just getting a home without selling an organ is tough enough.

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Household_income_in_the_United_States#cite_note-Definition_of_household_income-1

If we have 6 foreigners sharing 1 HDB flat, the household income would be high even though each member may not be earning a lot. The rise in household income may merely be an increase in the percentage of the labour force in the residents.

definitions of household income

1. The residents of the household do not have to be related to the head of the household for their earnings to be considered part of the household's income

2.That the size of a household is not commonly taken into account in such measures may distort any analysis of fluctuations within or among the household income categories, and may render direct comparisons between quintiles difficult or even impossible.[3]

Aurvandil said...

Goh Meng Seng of the NSP has been campaigning for HDB housing reform. The following is a summary of what he is trying to say:

1) Under the current system, first time HDB home owners have to pay a very high price because HDB flats are priced based on the price of resale HDB flats.

2) HDB flats should be priced based on the cost it takes to build them rather than the price of resale HDB flats.

This simple message has been twisted by the PAP Internet Brigade into

1) Goh Meng Seng wants to collapse the price of HDB flats

Logically, this cannot happen. This is because to buy a flat from the HDB, you have to fulfill

1) Citizenship/Ownership requirements
2) Family nucleus requirements
3) Occupancy requirements which prevent first time buyers from immediately selling their flats in the resale market

Goh Meng Seng also talks about the idea of using your HDB flat to finance your retirement. This is a BAD IDEA because

1) The price of resale HDB flats can fall.
2) Other than selling the HDB flat, there are no other means on monetizing it. Previous attempts to monetize HDB flats via reverse mortgages failed.

Hence unless you have second property or are planning to emigrate from Singapore, it would be foolish to rely on your HDB flat as a means of providing for your retirement. Unfortunately many Singaporeans are FORCED to do so because they have spent ALL of their earnings on their HDB flat.

A vote for Mr Mah would therefore mean a CONTINUATION of the current policy of INFLATED prices for flats bought DIRECTLY from the HDB.

A vote for Goh Meng Seng would mean HDB policy REFORM so that you pay based on the COST of building the HDB flat.

ApeacefulifeorallSingaprns said...

I will vote for Goh Meng Seng.

ApeacefulifeorallSingaprns said...

I will vote for Goh Meng Seng.

Anonymous said...

ah goh wants to complicate and segregate price of homes ah?

he promises cheap and green and that you will be flushed with cash after spending at cost of building a flat - cheap cheap

i also vote for this ah goh(not the ah god with the peanut wife)

maybe he can be our prime minister at...cost of a ferrareee too.hehe

Anonymous said...

guess for some people of his status, who used to live in some hdb flat last time and now probably living in some private property, he might not understand the real sentiments of the common people.

people at the top, I believe, will always forget how hard it is and will just think that every commoner's complain is invalid and easy to settle.

so what if got constituent visit? they won't listen as they won't believe what is actually happening to commoners now as their salaries are pegged to a basket of top few bosses' pay in Singapore.

JP said...

"The PAP govt opened the floodgates to foreign labor and did not expand the supply of housing accordingly causing the price of flat to escalated by more than 50% in 4 years."

They must find a way before the people give out protest. Where did the taxes go? This is not want we want. Right?

-JP
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Roger said...

"They used to fuck us from the backdoor. Then they started fucking us from the backdoor. Now it has reached to such an extent they're fucking us from the front door AND the back door simultaneously."

I could not agree more unfortunately LKYcalledmeDAFT. They are literally fucking us from every angle.

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Tom said...

I suppose it is supply and demand at the end of the day :-)

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Artificial Lawn said...

It is not really fair to have high housing cost plus the surging cost of taxes. But since Singapore has a very limited land area I think the government must also compromise.

Joan Rivers said...

they like to come at you from every bloody hole especially the sh*t one.
Pisses me off

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