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Thread: Yahoo! Answer: Are the GST credits enough to help you cope with the GST increase?

  1. #41

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    With respect to everyone getting a better education, while sounding like a panacea for all economic troubles, it actually won't solve the problem of how to assist lower-wage earners.

    I provide you with an analogy -
    You have an empty bottle - this is your infrastructure; your economy

    Bro emp... that was what you should have looked into - all 4 lines and not just the last two, above.

    I was referring to peeps thinking that education will solve any society's socio-economic problems.

    Sky jiuce was used to represent an entire population that is made up of all less educated and champange to symbolize an entire population that is made up of all highly educated.

    Using only one of the above liquids, whatever you pour into the economy, the bottle, there will be a number, large or small, that will fall into the bottom of the economy.

    My point is that even with a society/country with equally educated people, highly educated or less educated, there will be a group that will fall towards the bottom of the bottle.

    And I went on to a wee bit about those that will not get into the bottle or those that somwhow fall out of the bottle due to natural human hardships such as deaths, injury, disability and also a wee bit when mother nature somehow manages to poke, make a hole into the bottle - to the detriment of almost everyone - RoRK was talking about natural disasters.

    And the repercussions from inflation can and should be looked at in a manner similar to natural disasters

    Hope things are now clearer.

    Last edited by RoRK; 03-07-08 at 10:09 PM. Reason: just took my medication ;-)

  2. #42

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    I must say that the discussions in this thread has turned to be very insightful and fulfilling. Hope it doesn't degrade to nonsense.


    Quote Originally Posted by rottenramone View Post
    there are singaporeans who dial in and donate, but a majority of them needs to watch a charity show and oftentimes its not on their initiative. its not creating a relationship of dependency, but developing ppl to give back.
    Agreed. On the hindsight, it goes to show how powerful the media can be in bringing out the best in Singaporeans. But does the best of us only happen when the media comes into play? I think a long term approach to having a society of awareness and empathy is more effective, but how is that gonna be done? We are more and more becoming into individuals rather than a mass. We only experience the hardship of another via electronic media and means. Alarmingly, the real world has been condensed into a flat screen.

    It becomes more alarming when the people who are suppose to represent the people gather the same sense of the real Singapore through the same flat screen, instead of really knowing what an elderly cleaner, a disabled or even a Bangladeshi construction worker experience every single day.

    The elderly cleaner works to live a normal last few years of his life, but the inflation is making things hard for him to have the proper medical care and basic living necessities. The disabled witnessed the price of taxi fares skyrocketing, but having little alternative for transportation, he takes the taxi anyway. The Bangladeshi worker, already facing discrimination and thankless hard labour, now finds himself having a harder time to eat a proper meal, when already a huge bulk of his meagre income has been sent to his family back home.

    This scenarios, they are not mere fabricated characters. They reflect very real people, right here in Singapore. Are they even getting the GST offset?

    Perhaps any further offer of ideas on how to improve the situation might help, especially to the group that would need all the help they can get.
    Silence is an option. Not an absolute. - MIME Unit

  3. #43

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    There are many avenue to get help. The problem is, most who need the help do not know where to go.

    Some time back, I was involved in community work, what we try to do is to find residents who need help and matchmake them to appropriate agency who can help them.

  4. #44

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    OK, let me clarify that my previous post was answering to SOFT's post and refers to our social compact and developing a more philanthropic spirit. This thread should be more about GST credits.

    But to the ppl who says the govt isn't helping them enough by giving money, i say you could vote otherwise in the next election. The Workers' Party gives a sensible alternative viewpoint in their "New Poor" article, but I also hope to see an action plan as well.

  5. #45

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    there seems to be a hideous premise that our government is extremely benevolent and compassionate, and they help the poor and needy out of sympathy.

    i can ASSURE you, do not test the mercy of the government.

    the only reason why the government would want to help those at the bottom of the barrel is due to the social ills of POVERTY.

    this is because there is a correlation between poverty and things like crime, support for opposition parties, increased social burden etc.

    so with that in mind, i believe we are discussing GST credits and GST increase. that is government policy. so it baffles me to find people discussing things like charity, because charity has nothing to do with government policy. charity is conducted on the basis of volunteerism or pro bono publico. charity is not a topic that appears in parliament because it does not make sense for parliament to impose it on the people. i believe when we say "the government donating" we are actually referring to the individuals, or members of parliament, and not the entity. because the entity is actually a representative of us, the people.

    and now going back to the topic, the GST credits were never meant to help cope with the GST increase. the government will NEVER give out monies meant for our well-being in a form of a lump-sum. CPF is a fine example. and if they sincerely wanted to compensate us per se, what's the point of raising the GST in the first place?
    Last edited by shinobi; 04-07-08 at 12:54 AM.

  6. #46

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    Wah! Why so fast gotch forget that LHL said that the GST increment (5% to 7%) was to help the poor and the elderly? Gotch GST credits to offset GST mah. If not enough then ask for more. Oso must ask where the programmes to help the poor and elderly.

    Every society gotch poor and elderly regardless of what society and the economy does. You educate all oso the result will have poor and elderly. You educate many, oso will have poor and elderly. All gotch no education, oso the result will be some poor and elderly.

    So how lidat?

  7. #47

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    Are we exaggerating the effects of the gst hike with the stories of the struggles of the less affluent? As far as know, the 2% increase in GST did NOT (or rather ,significantly) affect the prices of daily necessities, inflation was due to other factors and was set to take place with our without the GST hike. The GST hike was meant to hurt upper income groups more than the lower income groups because of the higher propensity to spend. So, it will tend to have a redistributive effect on income.

    GST credits, from a consumer point of view, will never be enough. We can either wait for more money to drop from the sky or learn to deal with it.These GST credits, enough or not, to me its just a political tool.

    And the thing about elderly dependents isnt it the responsibility of their children to take care of them?

  8. #48

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    I thought this thread is dead...

    Are we exaggerating? Perhaps. But in the first place, the last thing they NEED is a GST hike, with or without inflation. As I mentioned, 7% of a pre-inflated price is different from 7% of an inflated price. The question is, are those increments being given out based on the pre-inflation trends or after?

    The GST hike was meant to hurt upper income groups more than the lower income groups because of the higher propensity to spend... or so may be the intention. But it can backlash: for the majority of time, you are paying more for a better education, life and opportunities. If you can afford it, why not? Because you know, in the end you get ahead faster, higher and better, than those who just had the basics of education, life and opportunities.

    So, in the end, those who struggle with just the basics get left further behind. It has become a vicious cycle: those who can afford will be able to afford more, those who can't get left behind.

    There are those who whine about it, saying the GST increments is not enough to off set the expenditures, cos 4 of their children got piano lesson, newborn need a certain kind of baby formula etc. Heck, who doesn't want free money, although in the end all that "hong bao" as the governing powers like to term it, ends up going back to the government, and THEN some. Some people could afford to live with that.

    Unfortunately, the ones who couldn't, can barely afford a personal computer, much less surf the internet, to voice these concerns of theirs. Not that they have no choices at all; they have their channels to voice through social and welfare organisations, grassroot commitees and even the occasional meet and greet sessions with the MPs. But socially and psychologically, they got categorised into the "low-income" group, which the only solution will be to give them free standard education, free standard medicals, and just enough money to spend on the basics. Again, I have to reiterate: the Basics.

    They still need to pay tax via GST. Imagine that.

    And now for something totally stupid: Post number 1000. Woot! Heh.
    Last edited by THOA; 08-07-08 at 09:45 PM.
    Silence is an option. Not an absolute. - MIME Unit

  9. #49

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    btw mendaki contributions and other contribs that are automatically deducted from your paycheck are not compulsory.

    Also i'm with shinobi.

    The bit that really sucks. I mean it really makes my blood boil, are the increases in pay of the ministers. It's like they took a page out of robert kiyosaki and paid themselves first. Public office is not meant to operate that way.

    The reality is, the gst credits are to offset the GST increases, not inflation. And the reason it is in the form of payouts rather than a withholding of increases, is that ultimately the govt realises that pricepoints are downwardly sticky, and they would rather it go up. The offsets are just to make it go down easier. Everyone will be happy for a short while, before getting shafted by another increase. It's also interesting to note that other countries, are also following our lead of allowing increases but using payoffs as well. It's always easier to rescind the payouts than to modify the rates downwards.

    The govt is also geared towards a top down flowing of money policy. It's really entrenched, which is why you'll always find that the lower/mid income people always gets screwed.

    james, remember how we all had a thread on inflation? Now do you see that there really is inflation and it affects everyone?

    However, i'd like to point out how there's this really annoying trend of consumerism. Buy more gear, eat at a nice place, etc. For the younger folk that read soft, just remember that most of the people who do that, have their own income. You do not need to eat at pastamania everyday, dine at waraku, or get a H20 effects thingamajig, or a korg radias, or go to the swee lee sale thinking you can flip your purchases if you don't like it, or pay for an overseas mixing engineer because it'll get more street cred.

    The more money you spend on stuff you don't need, the higher inflation is going to go. By the time you have to pay for yourself, you'll find things are a going to be a lot less rosier.

  10. #50

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    it doesn't make sense for the GST increase to help the lower income group. remember that GST stands for GOODS AND SERVICES tax.

    Quote Originally Posted by THOA View Post
    The GST hike was meant to hurt upper income groups more than the lower income groups because of the higher propensity to spend... or so may be the intention.
    the lower income group has a higher propensity to consume. that's because they NEED to spend what little they earn and can't afford to save. so for illustration lets say that the lower income earners spend 90% of their income and save 10%

    the higher income group has a lower propensity to consume. it's not as if i eat 10 bags of rice a day just because i am rich and can afford it. but exaggeration aside, higher income earners can afford to set aside more for savings. then lets say they spend 60% of their income and save 40%

    the government taxes because they think that higher income earner should not be saving money. they believe that money should be spent so that the economy can grow (or inflate). because the government (is supposed to) spends all the money that it collects in taxes, be it immediately (govt spending) or in the future (investment).

    it is clear that the poor are getting the shit deal. as it is prices are increasing. GST will be magnified as it will be a factor of prices. the government gives out a lump-sum subsidy to compensate the poor. what is the message here? the message is "if you can't afford it, lower your standard of living"

    the government seems to have some grand masterplan as to why they are increasing taxes, delaying CPF payments, and increasing CPF minimum sum ($106,000)- methods of capital accumulation. my guess is that they predict that the local economy is going to come crashing down, and they need the money to rescue it, to be heroes
    Last edited by shinobi; 09-07-08 at 05:28 PM.

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