PAP Representatives | Branch Information
Sim Ann is a Singaporean politician. A member of the country's governing People's Action Party (PAP), she is the Senior Minister of State at the ministries of Culture, Community and Youth and Trade and Industry. She has been a Member of Parliament (MP) since , representing the Holland-Bukit Timah Group. A social networking platform to engage the residents, activists and friends of Holland-Bukit Timah GRC. Company Overview. Meet the People Sessions. Posts about MP Sim Ann written by Repost on SgHardtruth. Residents of Toh Yi estate in Bukit Timah said HDB's plans to build studio Although I had to conduct my weekly meet-the-people session in between, I'm glad I.
Elderly are welcome but HDB site not right: Toh Yi residents
But we do wonder sometimes, though, if more widespread assistance is a panacea for all our social problems. For example, one lady who approaches us for help regularly has an unemployed husband.
He has been staying at home for years, and refuses to get a job, even though he is able-bodied and quite capable of working. On occasion, our volunteers have been dismayed to find people they have helped continuing to spend money on habits they can ill afford, like smoking.
How do we meet the real needs of residents and still remain responsible for the public resources that we are dispensing? How do we fulfill our instincts to be helpful and caring, without eroding the sense of pride and self-reliance that has characterised our society? In the long run, does providing more social assistance foster greater dependency?
Who will pay for it all?
About Us | Holland Bukit Panjang Town Council
In our own way, my small team of volunteers and I find ourselves pondering the dilemmas that inevitably arise when we seek to do more to help those who need it. These are also questions that preoccupy policymakers and experts throughout the world, including — and perhaps especially — those in developed nations that have constructed elaborate and costly welfare systems. We all wish to see a more caring and compassionate society where no one is left behind, with full opportunity for all to make the most of our lives.
This is why the Government has been strengthening our social safety nets, and will continue to do more. It is planning more initiatives to support the elderly.
In healthcare, it is recruiting more doctors and nurses, and providing more hospital beds and nursing home places, as well as acute treatment and outpatient care, at affordable rates.
It is helping workers, especially those at the lower end, to secure better jobs with higher pay, by improving their skills and raising their productivity.
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But the Government is making these moves carefully, doing its best not to undermine incentives to work or weaken the economy, which ultimately has to generate the resources to pay for these social programmes.
Developing our own models Some have argued that Singapore should follow the northern European model of more radical redistribution and comprehensive welfare payouts, to narrow the income gap. There are certainly lessons we can pick up from the northern European experience.
But we first need to understand the context in which these societies operate. The Scandinavian countries spend a great deal. In Sweden, for example, government expenditure amounts to around 50 per cent of GDP.
This is funded by high taxes, with the standard value-added tax set at 25 per cent, and with personal income tax rates of up to 57 per cent. By comparison, in Singapore, government expenditure amounts to just 17 per cent of GDP, the GST is 7 per cent, and personal income tax rates do not exceed 20 per cent.
Even before the debt crisis and concerns over the future of the Euro, the Scandinavian countries were finding it difficult to keep all their welfare schemes going. Across Europe, many countries are now stuck with increased dependency and high unemployment. Their economies are weighed down by the heavy burdens of high taxes and generous welfare. In Italy, state pensions alone account for 14 per cent of GDP, almost as much as total government expenditure in Singapore.
How would Singapore benefit if it were to model itself after these economies? Aside from the difficulty of sustaining generous benefits, comprehensive welfare schemes can also foster perverse behaviour, affecting the character and tone of society as a whole and eroding trust and social cohesion.
Take for instance benefit fraud — the practice of making fraudulent claims in order to obtain more welfare benefits than one ought to receive.
This is a problem in many European countries, posing a heavy cost to taxpayers. Generous compensation rates, while well-intentioned, encourage over-claims and long-term absenteeism. Sweden, for instance, has one of the healthiest populations in the world, yet the proportion of Swedes who claim sickness benefits is among the highest in OECD countries. The Swedish government has had to introduce stricter conditions and safeguards in its sickness benefits scheme, to limit the temptation for people to game the system.
That way we can evolve our own social model, one that emphasises enterprise and drive, rather than the redistribution of a shrinking pie; one that encourages self-reliance instead of welfare; and one that helps build a fair, just and inclusive society.
Youths usually use the basketball court. Some residents though said they do not mind one way or another if the studios are built on the site.
Undergraduate Chan Jing Hao, 23, raised another practical concern of cost. The cost will be quite high. But elderly cannot afford the luxury of doing mass grocery at other locations due to limited mobility. She said, "We will update residents when we have more information. I'm not presuming any particular outcome at this stage, but my approach is to take a holistic view of our estate's needs now and in the future, remain open to suggestions, and go for win-win.
A spokesperson said, "From a needs analysis, we expect the SAs to be well received by elderly residents in the Bukit Timah estate who wish to buy a SA and continue to live in a familiar environment. HDB acknowledged their concerns, and pledged to introduce more facilities in the area "that will not just benefit the elderly residents, but also residents living in the neighbouring precincts".
Examples are a new children's playground, an elderly fitness station, a community garden, and space for future social communal facilities. However, he does see a need for the government to change their approach when dealing with residents.