Wednesday, October 10, 2012

'Goodies' - are in fact RAW DEAL

 Those staying in low rise HDB block have to pay between $1500 to 2500 for their lift upgrading program, depending if it is 3-room or 4-room flat.

For high rise block, 3 and 4-room flat pay between $500 to 700 respectively. Taking a conservative calculation using a 12 stories block, the govt easily rack in about $110K per block. So for an HDB estate, the sum is pretty substantial.

We the residents are made to pay a heavy sum for MIW mistake of not catering to aging population. This is the type of typical 'goodies' MIW have for us, which are in fact raw deal being package nicely to deceive the public.

I know of an elderly woman in her 80s live on the 2nd level of a low rise HDB block. She just complained to me the other day that she has to pay over $1000 plus for the lift upgrading. She told me that her CPF is almost depleted, but she also does not have enough cash to pay for the upgrading bill. She lives alone and depends on her daughter for monthly expenses. So she intends to spread out the payment via monthly installment using her CPF. Sigh, CPF charges an interest of 2.60% p.a. (subjected to adjustment) for monthly installment.  Besides losing out on the 2.5% interest earn on her CPF saving, she has to pay even more for the upgrading due to the interest charges on her installment plan. As with everything in S'pore, the charges included GST of 7%.

It is folks like her who are hardest hit by all these govt 'goodies'. They are burden further with interest charges. In fact, the govt is penalizing them for not being able to pay cash outfront. Is this not robbing the poor ?

Our govt extractive institution has many payment modes and schemes to collect money from the public. They have refined the art of extraction is to ensure all PAY UP. So they have cash payment (at self service kiosks - AXS, SAM all over the island), CPF payment, cash/CPF,  GIRO, CPF/GIRO. When it comes to collecting money, they are very efficient.

As for those who suffer financial hardship, they have many 'creative' assistance schemes to suck more blood from you. They offer extension of years for repayment, deferment of payment until the flat is sold...etc, etc. But the catch is - they come with INTEREST repayment. Thus, the longer one drags the payment period, it will cost them even more due to interest charges.

So, BEWARE of  'goodies' from the govt.

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