Help needed with higher cost of living
This is the headline of Gabriel Chen's report on a public dialogue session chaired by Josephine Teo last night. 'Retirees, civil servants and salaried workers were united in demanding that the Govt do more to alleviate higher transport costs and food prices. "The current hike in taxi fares - it's becoming ridiculous," said Madam Adeline Chan....Mr Colin Tan chipped in with a radical suggestion: have a two tier GST - one for basic necessities and the other for luxury items.' Like it or not, believe it or not, the pain is sinking in. With the spate of increases coming one after another, it is going to hurt many. In another article by Goh Chin Lian, MP Inderjit Singh was quoted to say that 'one way to relieve the burden on such middle income families is to lift the GST on essential items....He also thinks that the Govt should not have allowed those costs within its control to spiral upwards too quickly...ie not just utilities, rental and other govt charges, but also the property prices.' Economist Tan Khee Giap also 'believes that such institutions and corporations as transport operators SMRT and SBS Transit, should fulfil their social obligation by moderating inncreases. "We are not saying they should run at a loss. But you don't have to make abnormal profit.' These are sensible comments by responsible people, including redbean, but have fallen onto deaf ears. What I think is that the policies are worked out and approved by people who are too comfortable in their lifestyle and have totally lost touch with the hardlanders. The alternatives suggested were not complicated and complex sciences or mathematical formulas that are difficult to understand. They are rejected probably because some supertalents insisted that their assumptions and policies are right and good and do not want to be proven wrong. The verdict will be out in the next General Election. There is no need to insist on who is right or wrong now. PS: For the unthinking doggies who were ordered to disrupt blogs and forums without questions, the above are quoted from the Straits Times, the official paper.