Haunted by a living myth
Singaporeans are asset rich. Those who live in bigger flats, 5 rms and above, are better off. A Pavithran Vidyadharan, welcome to Singapore, wrote to the ST, ‘ I hope on Friday, when Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announces this year’s Budget, he will be more generous with goodies for five room and HDB executive flat owners. There is a misconception that such owners are high income earners, and they don’t need much help. It is not necessarily so. They could be living in the bigger HDB flats because their family is large; some could be taking care of their aged parents and in laws; and some could even be taking care of divorced or widowed siblings and their children.’ There are many other reasons why those living in bigger flats may not be better off. The older policies and pricing allowed many average Singaporeans to buy bigger flats as they were ‘really, truly’ affordable in every sense of the word. Some of them could now be retired and have lesser or no income. And with the great inflation Singapore Style, with no money in the pocket, life can be equally tough for those living in bigger flats. The demons of inflation and false wealth will be knocking at the doors of these asset rich Singaporeans. The only solution is to down grade and down grade and down grade. This will also apply to the wealthy scions who have inherited wealth and big properties. If they don’t inherit a business to generate the same wealth to maintain the high living lifestyle, and not professional enough to command million dollar incomes, they too will join the down grade queue. Just to repaint a house can be tens of thousands. And this is likely the main reason why the very rich do not think a few hundred millions would be enough for their children as the cost of living and inflation will soon erode whatever wealth there is there.