Lower income groups are having it so good

It is reported that their income increased from $1,200 pm in 2006 to $1,310 pm in 2008, a whooping increase of $110 in 2 years. Wow, wow, their lives must have been made better by the $110 pm raise. And it is computed that 3 roomers enjoyed a real wage increase per annum of 3.5% after factoring in inflation. And with all the govt support, handouts, give aways, etc, etc, what more can one ask for. The only people probably will be complaining are those earning $100k pm or more. For the economic crisis cuts across all income groups and the higher income earners were not spared. I can hear them cursing that their income increased only by $100k instead of $200k. For the lower income group this is something to celebrate and pop the champagne comes National Day.


Wally Buffet said...

You celebrate your income increase only if you can find a job.

With so much PRC, Pinoy, Malaysians et al in the job market, this so called income hike is just academic to many.

We are told that foreign labour will create and save jobs for Singaporeans. The reality on the ground is that the lax attitude to the import of cheap foreign labour only increases the employers' profits. How does having a PRC assisting the Char Kway Teow man help to create jobs for Singaporeans? Maybe I am dumb so will someone with more grey matter please explain to me. Looking around me, hardly a day passes by when I am not served by foreign workers. To find a compatriot serving me is a refreshing change that I always relish.

Foreign labour should only be allowed in export orientated businesses. Period.

The situation is so ridiculous that I am asking myself whether I am in Singapore or a city in the PRC. Well, with 400,000 of them here, this is hardly surprising isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Ofcourse more foreign workers in Singapore means more work for Singaporeans. Let me explain. The foreign workers will lower the cost of manufacturing goods, therefore cheaper export and therefore more income for Singapore. Singaporeans will be employed to manage the imported workers. With more income from abroad there will be more new startup businesses and therefore more Singaporeans will be employed at top tier management to look after the lowly paid foreign workers and so on.

It is good for Singapore to have lowly paid workers from abroad, period.

Wally Buffet said...

Hi Annonymous 11:03

Good morning and thanks for the explanation.

Yep, I understand how it works if the foreign worker is employed in export orientated businesses. But what about the PRC assistant to the Char Kway Teow hawker? How does employing him/her contribute to creating more jobs for Singaporeans. The way I understand from the Char Kway Teow man is that he is paying the PRC $30 per day whereas the Singaporean auntie wants $40.

Anonymous said...

Hi Wally, the char kuey teow man cannot find any Singaporeans to work for him at the foodcourt. That is the main reason he has to employ foreign workers. Apparently these sort of jobs are deem to be too lowly for the Singaporean youths. Singaporeans want jobs in aircon rooms, in a clean environment, can have coffee or tea all day long, can have one solid hour lunch break and can earn more than $30 or $40 a day.

redbean said...

at the cleaners level it should not be an issue. personally i prefer to be served by the well mannered and courteous foreign workers that the grouchy, smelly and rude ah peks or ah mahs. we can empathise with them for the jobs they are doing, but being rude and quarrelsome are not acceptable.

the jobs that are being taken away are the executive and middle management jobs that singaporeans aspire to be. i am sure the talents at these level are not that better than our talents or else we should close down our 3 world class universities and our polytechnics.

Wally Buffet said...

"the jobs that are being taken away are the executive and middle management jobs that singaporeans aspire to be."

Yep, this is real troubling. Apparently, when these Singaporeans cannot find jobs at these levels, they emigrate and thus another one indigenous born citizen is lost.That's why I predict that in 10 to 15 years time, almost all original Singapore born citizens with education and talent would have emigrated and replaced by the new citizens from India and the PRC, with a concomitant downgrade in societal values. The whole demographic composition would change, perhaps, not even for the better. Lucky my whole family is fully fluent in mandarin because even right now, you may need the language to even buy basic necessities. Pity our Malay and Indian brethen true blue Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

" the jobs that are being taken away are the executive and middle management jobs that singaporeans aspire to be "

These jobs are being filled by foreign talents because the employers can get away paying minimum wages to our new citizen. Singaporeans if given these jobs would demand higher wages. Lets face it, if you are in a position to offer a position to either a Singaporean or a foreign talent who would you choose? At the end of the days, you would try your hardest to minimise your salary cost.

Anonymous said...

Redbean, you have to look deeper to find out the reason for the increase of $110 pm. Employers, including the Govt are no fools in giving workers more.

The reality is workers now have to work longer hours (with no overtime) and two workers now have to undertake the job of three workers previously. So, with one worker less and a saving of, say $1,200 pm by the employer, what is paying $110 pm more to each of the remaining two.

And the best argument is that efficiency and productivity has improved, because they only need two workers to do the job of three. I buy that argument, except that I know how it is done.

Lost Citizen

redbean said...

hmmm, do you people really think that the $110 increment over 2 days is anything to crow about or meaningful when the cost of living probably eats up every single cent of that?

Anonymous said...

Ahhh....that's the beauty of life in Singapore. Ignorance is bliss.

Lost Citizen

redbean said...

oops, i mean over 2 years.

Jaunty Jabber said...

A colleague just told me, over weekend she brought her kids to a theme park in the east area for some fun. For a kid to play for an hour in the Kid's Explorer Park, she has to pay $22.00 per hour, her whole family of 4 cost $88.00 for 1 hour.

Singapore, for man-made fun in a synthetic theme park, will cost you $88.00 per family for an hour, to play in a environment made up of mainly plastic & fabric glass material.

To own a car, you burn at least $50.00 per day.


Wally Buffet said...


For a cheapskate like me, I bring my grandchildren to Toys R Us. Play with all the plastic stuff and it's free! Yippee!

With the money saved, we will all adjourn to Swenson for ice-cream.