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11/04/2005

singaporeans paying for their sins of yesteryears

extravagance and wasteful consumption are sinful. thrift is a virtue. these fundamental values of decent living were thrown to the winds and singaporeans are now paying for it. for not too long ago, everything was so rosy. everyone was encouraged, in a way, to live for today and hope for a better tomorrow. singaporeans were programmed to spend beyond their means, or to spend as much as they could afford. hdb, a govt institution that originally built flats at subsidised prices to provide all singaporeans with a roof over their heads, had a policy change and the subsidies became a subsidy over market value. and when market prices went through the roof, so were hdb prices. the flats were priced according to affordability. and there was even a policy to build only bigger flats instead of building smaller flats for those who are more cautious with their financial resources. singaporeans were led to buy bigger and bigger flats, leading to over gearing. even in the case of hospital beds, c class beds that received more govt subsidies and cost lesser were reduced to a minimum. patients were encouraged or have no choice but to go for b class beds, which means pay more through their cpf savings. good and in working condition cars, less than 10 years old were scrapped. or at most allowed to be on the road for 10 years unless one is prepared to pay more taxes. what a wasteful policy in consumption. with the economic crisis, property prices crashed, car prices crashed, cpf savings depleted. singaporeans are now hanging on to negative assets, empty cpfs, jobless or low paying jobs. this is the price of yesterday's folly that singaporeans are paying today.

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