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10/14/2006

myth 77

'Thrift and Prudence are virtues we cherish' Being thrifty and prudent in our finances and our spending habits are age old wisdoms that can do us a lot of good. And many people have made glowing speeches about such virtues and how and why we should all not be philanderers and spendthrifts. Were these speeches made with a genuine intent or a publicity gimmick not to be believed? I must say that I am pleasantly surprised that the HDB finally caught up with such virtues and chewed on the ideas of prudence and thrift. If one cannot afford to buy a bigger or more expensive flat than one's income, one must not be encouraged to do so. Is there a change in mindset or philosophy? How many policies are conceived with thrift and prudence in mind? Is the $3k ceiling to demand people whose family income is above this sum to buy bigger flat in line with such thinking? Are the means testing to determine why certain people must spend more in more expensive hospital wards in the same mould? What about the practice of scrapping cars that are in good working conditions to buy another new car? Is this kind of habit prudent and thrifty? The most prudent and thrifty policy is perhaps the measures or pricing and taxes imposed on water usage. To encourage people to be mindful of the water they used and be thrifty, they are made to pay very much more for their water through higher tariffs, taxes and pricing. The people will all end up very thrifty in water conservation, even taking lesser bath and in double quick time. But their water bill tells a different story about thrift. What about asking the poorer hardlanders to have more babies?

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