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The biggest surprise of the Budget 2014 speech actually wasn’t a “surprise.” No, I’m not talking about the vice taxes that have every drinker, smoker, and gambler in Singapore groaning – that really was a surprise. I’m talking about the Pioneer Generation package, which was actually hinted at weeks prior to the budget speech.
In Singapore, we do whatever it takes to be the first in everything. It doesn’t matter if we have to drive like Mad Max just to beat the car in front of us to the PIE exit, or charge like a rhino and trample people just to get the only remaining seat on MRT train – we must be first!
While most of us normal alcoholics brace ourselves for an expected minor increase in alcohol prices in our favourite haunts, Daniel Goh, who runs The Good Beer Company, shares his thoughts on the hike in alcohol taxes from the perspective of a business owner and how the hike impacts businesses.
So, were you sitting in front of your 42-inch flat screen television with a bag of popcorn to watch the Singapore 2014 Budget speech? *crickets chirping* Hmmm… didn’t think so.
The superficial answer to that question would be “yes.” But the truthful answer is well… you don’t need to me say it right? Recently, the Labor Movement, otherwise known as the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), brought up the issue of raising the Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions from 32.5 percent to 36 percent for workers above 50 to 55.
Whether you believe it or not, Singapore’s healthcare system is not only one of the best in the world statistically, but it’s also envied worldwide for its efficiency and low cost. Whoa! No need to toss rotten tomatoes at me and brandish pitchforks! It’s true!
You read that right. Citizenship in a certain Caribbean nation costs about as much as a new car in Singapore. Hell, you might even have $20,000-$180,000+ left over, depending on whether you buy a practical Mazda 6, or a fancy BMW 5-Series. But citizenship isn’t the only thing you can “drive off” with for the price of a car in Singapore.
In line with the spirit of giving (it is close to Christmas after all), the police announced on Wednesday that the ban on public alcohol consumption in Little India will be extended for SIX MONTHS! Some “gift” to business owners right?
Thanks to MAS car loan restrictions (restriction is too kind of a word, I think strangulation describes it much better) and COE prices rising to ridiculous levels (Certificate FOR the “entitled” more like it), it’s no wonder car sales have dropped by almost 40%! But just having a look at our list, you’d be forgiven for thinking people have no problems at all getting a car:
The minimum wage is an issue that just won’t die in Singapore, even though MPs have “killed” the issue on numerous occasions by raving about how great Workfare is for low-income workers. Unfortunately for them, the minimum wage seems to be the Freddy Krueger of social issues – it just won’t die.