Increasing S&CC: The Government Making Singaporeans Pay More To Earn From Us

The PAP announced last week that service and conservancy charges (S&CC) for 8 of the PAP town councils will increase from 1 April onwards. PAP will be increasing charges by between $1 to $15 a month.

Some of you might think that you have been spared the increase if you do not live in the areas managed by these town councils. But the PAP has been very sneaky. They had actually increased the charges for the other town councils two years ago.

You see, there are a total of 16 town councils, one is managed by the Worker’s Party and the rest – 15 of them, by the PAP.

Town Councils Map

Image source: TownCouncils.sg

It looks like the PAP had wanted to increase the S&CC for all the town councils after the last general election, but if they were to increase the charges for all the town councils at one go, they would have known that Singaporeans would not take it well.

So, this is what they did:

  1. They had split the announcement for the increase in the S&CC into two.
  2. So, in 2012, they announced that the charges would be raised for 7 town councils.
  3. Then, they said that the “increase will be phased over two years”, to psychologically give Singaporeans the impression that the increase is slow.
  4. After 2 years of that announcement and the two-year phasing in, they then decided to follow-up with this announcement of the increase for charges of the 8 other town councils.
  5. Again, they said that the “increase will be phased over two years”.
  6. Smart, right? First, the town councils are merged – there are 27 constituencies but the PAP has merged them into 16 town councils. Next, break the charges increase into two – 7 or 8 town councils sound like a small number, people won’t know. Then say you want to help Singaporeans by phasing in the increase over two years.

(1) PAP Town Councils Earn Surpluses But Still Increase S&CC

But let’s get on to the main issue at hand – why is the PAP increasing S&CC? According to the PAP, the S&CC has “have remained unchanged for the last ten years”. The PAP also claimed that, “the growth in maintenance and operational costs has made it increasingly difficult to continue our operations”.

However, how true is this? In fact, Yahoo! Singapore pointed out that, when “Asked why it is increasing S&CC despite its healthy surpluses, the town council said in a prepared response that “such surpluses have been in the decline over the years”.

Surpluses have been declining over the years? If you look at how much the PAP town councils have in surplus, the PAP town councils have $46.5 million in accumulated surpluses last year (for those which have their annual reports published openly online)!

Slide1

And surpluses have “declined”? Not really – in fact, the PAP town councils have seen their accumulated surpluses increase from $40.2 million in 2012 to $46.5 million in 2013 – and this is only for town councils which had published their earlier annual reports or financial statements online, some cannot even be located.

Slide2

(2) PAP Made The Surpluses Disappear

In 2012, there was then a drop in surpluses but do you know why? This is because of a silly rule that the PAP has created. According to Leong Sze Hian, “under section 34 of the Town Council Act, which stipulates that upon the issue of a writ of election, 80% (100% if the party that wins the constituency is a different party) of the accumulated surplus (has to be transferred) to the sinking fund.”

So, why did surpluses decrease? From what the PAP is saying, it sounds like “such surpluses have been in the decline over the years” because of “continuously rising maintenance and operation costs”. But very clearly, the decrease in surpluses is a direct result of the PAP’s manipulation of the law. It has nothing to do with the rising maintenance and operation costs. If the PAP had not created this law, the town councils would still see their accumulated surpluses keep growing very healthily.

To give you an example, you can just look at the Ang Mo Kio Town Council. In 2011, it had $16.7 million in accumulated surplus but in 2012, after the election, this suddenly dropped to $4.4 million.

Or, if you look at the Marine Parade Town Council, in 2010, it had $11.5 million. This increased to $14.2 million in 2011. Then in 2012, after the election, it suddenly dropped to $3.1 million.

And if you look at all the constituencies where reports are available online, the total accumulated surpluses fell from $122 million in 2011 to $38 million in 2012 – or by more than two-thirds!

Slide3

In fact, this didn’t happen just during the 2011 general election. It also happened during the 2006 general election. If you look at the Sembawang Town Council, in 2012, the accumulated surplus saw a huge drop from $25.7 million in 2011 to only $8.2 million. But back in 2007, it also saw a huge drop from $22.9 million in 2006 to $9 million in 2007. In both periods, the town council saw a vast increase in its accumulated surpluses prior to general elections before seeing their surpluses drop by two-thirds after!

Slide4

Should Singaporeans be forced to have to deal with the lowered surplus because the PAP created a law to lower the surpluses? Do you think this even makes sense?

If you work backwards, and include the lost surpluses that was taken out of the system, the PAP town councils would have accumulated $400 million, if we just take into account the surpluses that had disappeared over the past 3 general elections!

The question is – why did the PAP do it?

In fact, when we look at how much the sinking funds have accumulated, they have accumulated $1.7 billion in the PAP wards. This means that the the money that we have paid, which is then transferred elsewhere, that has helped to accumulate $1.7 billion, but where is all this money going?

Yet again, why is the money transferred, and why are we then asked to pay more?

(3) The Worker’s Party Can Keep S&CC Down In Spite Of Inflation, So Why Not The PAP?

Now, compare this to what the Worker’s Part did. In 2012, “Chairman Sylvia Lim said in the statement: “We are mindful that in the current inflationary environment, residents are similarly facing cost increases on their own as well.”

Both facing issues of inflation and rising costs, but why such different responses? Why would the PAP want to increase the S&CC even though they had increasing surpluses which they made disappeared by themselves. Yet, the WP would not increase charges, and thus they did not increase the S&CC.

In fact, when you compare how much Singaporeans who live in the Worker’s Party’s constituencies have to pay, they need to pay a much lower amount than Singaporeans who live in PAP’s wards. In fact, Singaporeans who live in the PAP wards have to pay up to 52% more than Singaporeans who live in areas which are governed by the Worker’s Party.

Slide5

(4) The Worker’s Party Has Low Surpluses And Kept S&CC Down, But The PAP Has High Surpluses Yet Increase S&CC

But actually, what’s more – take a look at the surplus in the Worker’s Party town council! In 2013, the Worker’s Party had only $1.8 million in accumulated surplus.

And when you look at the town councils managed by the PAP of comparative sizes, all of them had higher surpluses than the Worker’s Party, of between $1.8 million to $11.4 million.

So, why is it that for the PAP town councils, they each had more surpluses than the Worker’s Party and the PAP collectively have $46.5 million in surplus already, but they still want to increase the S&CC? Yet, why is it that the Worker’s Party had comparatively a much lower surplus but they were “mindful” enough for their residents and know that their residents “are similarly facing cost increases on their own as well”, and thus have the empathy and compassion to not overburden their residents? 

What is wrong with the PAP?

(5) If PAP Is Already Earning Surpluses, Have Singaporeans Been Paying Too Much For The Past 10 Years?

What’s more, the PAP wanted to emphasise on the fact that, “the current S&CC have remained unchanged for the last ten years”, and thus they wanted to make it sound like they had no choice but to increase the S&CC.

But, if indeed the S&CC had been the same for 10 years, but the PAP is already able to earn $46.5 million in accumulated surplus today, and even $122 million in 2011 (before they created the law to make the money disappear), then doesn’t that mean that the PAP has been collecting S&CC which are already too high 10 years ago, and which has already allowed them to make a lot of money off Singaporeans?

Does this mean that 10 years ago, they have already made Singaporeans pay far too much so that they can earn from us?

Not only that, since they are still making $46.5 million in surpluses now, that would also mean that the current increase also has no basis, and this would only mean that the current increase would allow them to earn more and accumulate even more surpluses!

What is the PAP thinking? Why are they forcing Singaporeans to pay higher S&CC, when they already have surpluses, and when the real wages of Singaporeans have remained stagnant, and we are having difficulty even making ends meet?

(6) There Is Aboslutely No Need To Increase The S&CC

It would be clear by now that there is absolutely no need for the PAP to increase the S&CC.

  1. First, even without increasing the S&CC for 10 years, the PAP has already earned enough off Singaporeans to make $46.5 in surplus.
  2. Next, the PAP is already earning surpluses. Also, when “Singapore households are among the most indebted in Asia” where “Households had borrowings worth 151 per cent of their annual income last year” and where “Household debt in S’pore now accounts for 75% of gross domestic product, having doubled in the last 13 years“, while the Singapore government is among the world’s richest with one of the highest reserves in the world, has a very healthy $187 billion in surplus over the past few years and where GIC and Temasek Holdings rank as the top 10 richest sovereign wealth funds in the world, it makes very little, in fact, no sense at all, to make Singaporeans pay more on our increasingly diminishing savings, when the government is growing increasingly rich. Just today, it was also revealed that Singapore is now the most expensive place to live in, in the world yet Singaporeans earn the lowest wages among the high-income countries – how can Singaporeans be expected to keep paying and paying on our slashed-down purchasing power?
  3. In fact, when seen from an overall cash flow perspective, it is the government which should be stepping in to help alleviate the cost for Singaporeans at this point! Which is why it is ridiculous that the government provides a grant of only about 15% for the town councils, while Singaporeans are made to pay for the rest of the 85% by ourselves!
  4. Why is it that the government is not playing a bigger role in the financing, yet why have they channelled the money away and then ask Singaporeans to pay more?

Slide6

Meanwhile, if the Worker’s Party government is able to govern their constituency without increasing the financial burden on their citizens, why is it that the PAP government which would have more economies of scale, by virtue of running more town councils, not be able to find any savings, and not be able to be cost effective in their approach? Is the PAP so incapable? Or are they so heartless that they are more interested in earning money of Singaporeans instead of be “mindful” for their residents and care for us? On the contrary, when you look at how the Worker’s Party does it, when a report purposely highlighted that in their town council, “5% of their households had S&CC arrears overdue for 3 months or more”, the Worker’s Party had shown compassion by saying that, “While some residents can settle their arrears within a short period of time, others may need more time to do so and we have assisted them with instalment plans”.

We have had the PAP in government for 50 years now. Is it because they have ruled for so long that they are simply taking us Singaporeans for granted? For many Singaporeans, they would be able to trace the PAP’s taking advantage of Singaporeans to the mid-1990s. In fact, as I had written before, the rich-poor gap in Singapore widened from 1995. The richest in Singapore gained a higher and higher share of the income in Singapore, while the rest of us Singaporeans got lesser. Today, the richest 15% earns as much as the poorest 85%. And the Singapore Prime Minister, ministers and the PAP members of parliament belong to the top 15%. Not coincidentally, 1995 also coincided with when the PAP decided to pay themselves very high salaries.

Some would trace it even further. In fact, in 1983, Dr Toh Chin Chye, one of our respected pioneer PAP first-generation politicians had lambasted then-Minister of Defence and Second Minister for Health Goh Chok Tong for introducing the Medisave Scheme, which he had said is a “is a taxation, and it is a recessive tax for the simple reason that those who are at the lower income level, because their CPF contributions are lower, will have to pay the full amount, whereas those with higher incomes do not pay the full percentage of their income towards the CPF because there is a ceiling.” He had also asked why the government had wanted to collect CPF contributions which are more than “the recurrent expenditure of the Ministry of Health”, and had thus asked, “What are we doing with the revenue collected?”

This is the same question we are asking today – where is our money going?

In fact, we are facing another similar situation here once again. It happened in the 1980s and it is happening again 30 years later (and many times more over this period). The PAP decided to unilaterally increase the charges and fees, without conducting a proper research, or even showing Singaporeans this research (if any was done). Yet, Singaporeans have to continuously put up with such price increases, while the PAP keeps using the premise as “inflation” or “higher costs” as an affront, when Singaporeans know by now that the PAP government is very rich and has refused to acknowledge the increasing poverty that Singaporeans are suffering with. Yet, as the PAP continues to want to earn from Singaporeans, it chooses to justify for itself that it needs our money, while Singaporeans are made to bear the brunt of their wanton wants, and our collective bad decisions for voting them into government over and over again, even when we know they are making our lives worse off. When are we going to take a stand and do what’s right for ourselves.

Of course, what can Singaporeans do when the PAP has almost all the seats in government and gets to decide at their whims and fancies what they want to do, since there is no one to stop them?

Indeed, when Dr Toh Chin Chye had spoken up, he represented the last of the PAP politicians who had in them at least a level of integrity and would speak up for Singaporeans, and speak to protect us. But since the first generation who had toiled with their sweat and blood to strive for Singapore, none of the current PAP politicians have the integrity or righteousness that the previous politicians have. Singaporeans have been bullied and pushed around for a long time now – 30 years, if some remember. And yet, the PAP continues to do so because they believe that Singaporeans won’t speak up. They believe that we have been beaten to defeat.

Well, have you, Singaporeans? Will you allow the PAP to look down on you with disrespect, and continue to make use of you, and look you in the eye and lie right in your face?

Protest Against S&CC Increase This Sunday, 9 March 2014 at 4.00pm

No, I won’t take it sitting down. No, I won’t let them take our lives away as if we are pawns on their chess set. No, we will not let them push us down. We will not let them push us over. Enough is enough!

This Sunday, 9 March, we will be organising a protest against the S&CC increase. It might not be much and the government might not budge. But Singaporeans, it’s no longer about asking the PAP to change, for the PAP will never change. It’s about speaking up, it’s about finding our voice. It’s about learning to regain control over our lives and learning to take back what is ours. We have organised protests to small groups of people and we will not stop, we will not let up. We will keep doing this, and keep speaking up. We will keep giving Singaporeans a voice, so that together, we will find the strength within us, to fight, and to let the PAP know that Singaporeans are the rightful owners of this land – always have and always will. The PAP cannot take over government and rob Singaporeans of our lives.

Some of us might us – why protest? What’s the use since the government won’t listen? It is no longer about wanting the PAP to listen. They won’t, so let’s leave them aside. It’s about speaking up, about creating a space for ourselves where we can keep coming together, where we can keep doing this and make it become regular, so that as the time goes by, more and more of us will learn to see that speaking up is our prerogative, and we will learn to use our voice to rally ourselves together, to give Singaporeans the confidence that we can use our voice to change things for the better.

In 1965, Singaporeans fought for self-rule but we have never gotten them. The PAP took over and lorded themselves over Singaporeans. Today, today we will fight for self-rule once again. Join us this Sunday at the protest, from 4pm to 6pm. Let’s find our voice once again. Let’s keep going on.

You can find out more about the protest at the Facebook event page here.

Singaporeans Against S&CC Increase

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9 comments

  1. Danny Ooi

    Hey Roy,

    I’m Danny from Malaysia. I find your write ups interesting and insightful. Yet, i’m also wondering why are there not many more comments. And from a political perspective, many countries are also facing the same situation where the rich-poor gap is widening. But back to Singapore… The reality is that it is the top performing country in this region if not the world, Your country is also one of the safest country in the world, good public transportation system, acknowledge education system. Clean!! Many people around the world today, celebrities included choose Singapore as their home. No need to mentioned the people around this region. With your exchange rate and closeness to home, makes Singapore the perfect choice. So in a lot of people’s eyes, citizens included sees it as this. As reflected in election results. Only 1 council under opposition. As I see it, the current PAP government is not perfect, but it will be hard to fault them.

    And I guess all these is the price to pay for the average Singaporeans, but many would not like to risk a good thing and rather stick to what they know. This have been proven by the comfort zone theory. In my guess, it would take some time…

    And your Articles are a fact. Singapore voted to be the world’s most expensive city!!

    In the mean time, keep up the good work! More knowledge to the people equates to more informed choices one make.

    • Roy Ngerng

      Hi Danny,

      Thanks for your comment!

      I think, and some Singaporeans might agree, that the current system in Singapore is a result of the initial PAP politicians who knew clearly what needed to be done to position Singapore on the world map. Once they did it, it would be difficult to change the position that Singapore had solidified itself onto – because once you get there, two things would make it work is (1) keep maintaining it and (2) as long as other countries don’t “catch up”, Singapore is “safe”.

      The question now though is – (1) is the current PAP politicians adept at maintaining the system? Some Singaporeans don’t think so – the public transport system is breaking down, hospitals becoming overcrowded and tents are supposedly built as part of a plan to expand the hospitals’ capacity, instead of actually building additional buildings. Also, (2) the other countries are catching up.

      So, the question is – how long can the supposed “head start” that Singapore has last?

      The problem now is this – it looks like the current PAP politicians are actually just “maintaining” the system at the minimum they think is necessary. Yet, at the same time, they have also created divisive policies – the invitation of millionaires and billionaires into Singapore and a foreigner/investment-driven economic growth, not coupled with a matching investment in the people to grow Singapore-based industries and growth.

      As such, the two-prong skewed investment focus has caused prices to rise way and above the people’s means to afford the lifestyle here and resulted in a hollowing out of our economic base.

      You see – an investment-based growth would necessarily create two classes of society, where the government would want to create a market for the rich; and for the rest of Singaporeans, you just need a market to meet their basic needs. As such, the divide among the Singaporean society has thus widened further and further.

      The problem is compounded by the fact that the PAP politicians genuinely want to drive this divide. I don’t quite understand their psychology but first and foremost, they had paid themselves extravagant salaries and they want to upkeep that. Second, it looks like as they look towards growing their own wealth, they seem to believe that if they were to grow the wealth of Singaporeans as well, this would eat into their own. As such, there is a tireless focus on ensuring that the wages of Singaporeans do not grow, so that their wealth can be protected.

      It is thus ironic that the PAP claims that Singapore does not have a welfare system. Singapore does have a welfare system – but the PAP has created welfare for themselves, and by extension, for the rich. Meanwhile, for the poor and middle class in Singapore, they have to pay for the rich to upkeep their lifestyles – which doesn’t quite make sense. That makes us a slavery class, but it’s unfortunate that Singaporeans don’t seem to realise that.

      You see, the bubble that entraps Singaporeans is this – on the outside, the spanking clean buildings which are cleaned every few years and the thorough effort by the PAP to clean out the streets (and the homeless off the streets) – the maintenance of the “clean and green” Singapore has allowed Singapore to keep up with the appearance that there is no poor in Singapore and that life seems to still be good. And thus this deceptive imagery has caused Singaporeans to deny the existence of another side of Singapore, and in that denial, Singaporeans hang on to the idea that Singapore is still a safe place to live in – but we don’t understand how precarious we are holding on to this “idea” of Singapore.

      These constructs – that Singapore is “safe”, Singapore is “modern” – these have allowed us to hang on to a delusion, or an oasis, if you may – but these constructs were real in the 1990s, or even the 1980s. Then, Singapore was truly safe and modernising. However, in the Singapore today, there are many fault lines that are appearing, which the PAP has either chosen to either or does not recognise can tear our society apart.

      There is much research which already shows how inequality can cause many adverse societal and psychological problems – such as higher risks of mental disorders, suicides, a society that people become more self-centred and less trusting. In the long term, this does not bode well for the Singaporean society. It is also due to the PAP’s policies of gearing Singaporeans towards being more unequal, and thus competitive, that has caused Singaporeans to become more and more self-protective. When you speak to an older Singaporean who still remembers the 1990s, they would be able to remember a time when Singaporeans were kind and willing to help. Yet, on a social level, things deteriorated from the late-1990s and 2000s.

      What the current PAP doesn’t understand is this – they believe that “maintenance” refers to only maintaining the policies and balancing the policies that had been created by the first-generation PAP politicians. And they try their best to “balance”, not understanding how to balance. When the first-generation PAP politicians created the policies, even as much as there was the Internal Security Act and media control etc, they knew how else they need to manage the tempers of the people and manipulate the press to great effect. They knew philosophy and they knew psychology. And the truth was under them – the initial PAP politicians – the inequality in Singapore was coming down, and thus our society was becoming a friendlier one.

      But the current-installed PAP politicians are unable to maintain this balance, they themselves a by-product of the system that was created by the initial PAP politicians. As much as the then-PAP politicians maintained a good balance, they underestimated the effects of how a controlled education and media, and an elitist pathway can create – their offsprings thus become blinded to the reality that pervades Singapore. They are unable to empathise and “know the ground” because they never lived it and they were never exposed to it. A fake Singapore has created rulers who knew only how to create fake policies.

      And now, in government, it’s thoroughly difficult for them to understand how the rest of Singaporeans feel. It’s immensely difficult to do so when your whole life, you had lived in a glass bubble on the top of the hill. Not only that, they were thought that they needed to protect their lavish glass bubble, and had to prop up one another’s glass bubbles. As such, we now have a system where the elites are propping one another up, while the rest of Singaporeans are left to hang on to the pieces that we have and scavenge.

      I think it’s unfortunate. It’s very unfortunate. Singaporeans don’t realise this, or they can’t see this – or choose not to. The bubble that we have encapsulate ourselves in will burst soon. In the 1990s, our lives were real – Singapore was fair, a modern society, a country to be proud of – these were all real.

      But towards the end of that decade and in our era now, all these are façades of a past world that we hang on to. And indeed, why not? To envision yourself going down, and knowing it but not doing anything about it, it’s a scary thought. And for a Singaporean population which have been groomed to believe that we should fear and that we should be superficial – to see only what is on the outside and pursue it, it’s very difficult for us to look the other way – to see the reality.

      So, it is as much that Singaporeans are in denial as much as it is difficult for Singaporeans to realise that the façade would soon fall off, and that the reality of things would smack us right in the face. But as long as reality doesn’t materialise, people are quite happy hanging on to their floats.

      You know, so what if Singapore has a sparkling clean modern façade, when beneath it, we are empty and hollowed out – when we are the world’s most unhappy and most emotionless people, and where we are the least trusting and where there is the highest rate of poverty in Singapore, as compared to any developed country or most countries in East Asia. These are just symptoms of the reality that would come to Singapore soon. But still, Singaporeans hang on to the delusion.

      But having said all that, if you are rich, by all means, come to Singapore. Your wealth will be protected. It will grow faster than anywhere else, and it will grow at the expense of the poor and middle class.

      But this is just it – for the rich who are principled, moral and upright, do you think they would come to Singapore? They wouldn’t. Well, most of them wouldn’t anyway. They would stay where they are in the Nordic countries, for example, because they know that there, even as they cannot be as rich as someone in Singapore, they have a society which is equal, where everyone is happy, and where society as a whole grows together.

      Unfortunately, in Singapore, we attract a rich who want to keep their wealth, and hang on to it, for fear of losing it. And thus they come to Singapore – and it’s very easy to keep to yourself here and hang on to what you have here.

      But the question we have to ask – is this the kind of Singapore we want – where the rich are self-centred? But this is the kind of Singapore the PAP wants – in their want to grow rich themselves, it’s fine that they attract the kind of rich people who think like them. And to them, they think it’s fine.

      But it’s not fine for the rest of Singaporeans. And perhaps this is something the PAP does not understand. When your people become divided and when they are not with you, they will not work with you to build the society you want.

      What the PAP does not realise and what many Singaporeans have yet to understood is this – one day, soon, when the people no longer feel proud for this country, as they already are gradually not, they would not upkeep the country, they would not play their part, they would not work together. And when that happens, things will just fall apart. Whatever the first-generation PAP politicians have so tirelessly built up will fall apart under the leadership of the current PAP politicians.

      This is why so many Singaporeans are leaving – they see this one way or another. They know that Singapore has lost its soul, some of them might not understand why or how. And thus they have left to be able to still be in touch with their inner selves.

      But for many of us poor, or are unable to leave, what can we do? That is the question many Singaporeans ask.

      Well, don’t vote for the PAP! Speak up! Write, talk to your friends! When thousands and thousands of Singaporeans speak up, do you think they are going to throw all of us into jail? Do you think there is enough space for all of us? Do you think the Singaporeans who are guarding these cells would allow the PAP to be so defiant to the wishes of Singaporeans?

      What Singaporeans don’t understand is that we have a very powerful tool – ourselves. Once we speak out, once we step out, the PAP wouldn’t dare to what it dares now. Once thousands and thousands of us go onto the streets, the PAP will whimper at our feet. They might be rich but we have the numbers.

      Instead of getting out of our country, we have one last chance at the next election – we can fight it out with them and take back what is ours, or we can give our rights away once again, believing that maybe one day the PAP will do what is right.

      They stopped doing what is right 30 years ago. And this current PAP generation is even less likely to turn it around.

      I say, let’s take a stand and let’s do something about it. If either way you look at it, things are going to be broken soon, then it’s better to be prepared to let it break and then fix it together, instead of turn a blind eye to what might break and then run away.

      Surely, if our grandparents and theirs could build Singapore up from what is was after World War Two, as the children and grandchildren or our forebearers, Singaporeans should have enough guts and pride than what we believe ourselves to be?

      It’s now or never, my friends. We let this go, and we let our lives go. It’s now or never.

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    • Roy Ngerng

      Hello,

      You would notice 3 things about the increase of the S&CC of the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council which makes it progressive:

      (1) “The monthly S&CC rates for Singapore citizens living in one- and two-room Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats, as well as Housing and Urban Development Company (HUDC) flats, will remain the same” and still remain the lowest, as compared to the PAP’s town councils.

      (2) “Executive or maisonette flat owners will face the steepest increase of S$10” thus the highest increase in rates is reserved for the higher-income, in line with the faster increase in their wages.

      (3) Finally, even after the increase, the Worker’s Party’s fees are no where as high as the highest charges under the PAP’s.

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