Fiona Chan, the Straits Times Money reporter, today tried to dampen expectations of pre-Election Budget goodies in the upcoming Budget next month.
She wrote: “Despite this being a likely election year, next month’s Budget looks set to be a more low-key affair than those of previous election years, with fewer handouts to please Singapore’s voters….
“… This will be in contrast to the round of recession-cushioning reliefs announced last year – which included the bumper $20.5 billion Resilience Package – or the liberal payouts unveiled in other election years.”
Huh? Really? If so, let me have my two cents’ worth of Budget wish.
If the Singapore Government wants the economy to remain sustainably robust for the long term, I suggest this no-brainer.
But before I go into the pro-forma how-to-do-it, let me add that taking this route would also make citizenship truly meaningful for Singaporeans because it will
- honour the elderly and
- encourage life-long thrift and home-ownership
Here is the how:
1) Set aside at least $1.3 billion every year (assuming 30,000 beneficiaries and $50K per capita pay out) to help older Singaporean home-owners to unlock the value of their homes
2) Use this to give an interest-free advance to the oldest among Singaporeans who are 50 and above, assuming that not all who are over 50 can be catered to from the word go
4) Other criteria
ownership of a fully paid home
must be a citizen of at least 20 years standing
all things being equal, Singapore-born citizens will get the advance ahead of citizens by naturalisation
5) The advance will have to be repaid by the recipient to the Government if he/she sells his/her home, interest free. Ditto, if his/her home is sold by his/her estate.
7) The advance can be used in any way the beneficiary likes, whether it be to buy an annuity or blow it away in one shake of the dice at the new integrated resorts. 🙂
Thus being Singaporean means enjoying uniquely Singaporean benefits!