Are your fellow Singaporeans doing well? Are you perhaps living in comfort and blind to the hidden faces of your fellow countrymen? Perhaps you're working hard and struggling, but think you're just unfortunate / not working hard enough and part of only a few Singaporeans who have not made it?
I'm not going to bother talking about foreign workers or so-called talents allegedly taking up jobs Singaporeans can do or not, or if they are depressing our wages here. Or how our government happens to pay themselves astronomical salaries, along with their bedfellows at GICs, Temasek Holdings, statutory boards or paper officers in the SAF etc. Go make your own conclusions.
Now look at the numbers below.
Over 458,000 Singaporeans (about a quarter of Singaporean workers and 14% of actual local citizens? ) earn less than SGD1,500 a month. And nearly 295,000 of us earn less than SGD1,000 a month. That comes to about 1 out of 7 citizens of Singapore.
Singapore's change income growth rate is the worst out of 200 largest metropolitan economies at a negative 8.9%, while the change in our employment growth rate is also among the lowest, shrinking by -2.3%.
Then consider the following;
"In 1956, the then-Minister of Finance, Goh Keng Swee, estimated absolute poverty to be at the level of $25 per head, which meant that 0.3% of households were living below the poverty line. In 1974, the Amalgamated Union of Public Employees (AUPE) identified a poor household as one with less than $60 per head and over the years this has shifted as the basket of goods used to make the calculation was re-defined. Today, there still is no official poverty line but it is identified to be in the range of gross income of $1,500-$1,700 per household per month. The number is derived based on the Minimum Household Expenditure, or actual expenditure for a subsistence budget, multiplied by 1.25."
"Another group for consideration is households that are managed single-handedly by single women, single men or divorcees and are residing in smaller HDB flats or earning a per capita income that is below the subsistence level. Based on statistics from the General Household Survey 2005, their numbers can range between 21,000 and 88,000."
"There are Singaporeans who live by the country’s cardinal rule of self-reliance but who may still not earn enough for their upkeep. For instance, 400,100 workers (including part-timers) earn up to $1,200 - an amount lower than the recommended $1,500 needed for subsistence for a family of four. Accordingto the General Household Survey 2005, resident households living in HDB housing and earning a per capita monthly income of below $500... can number an estimated 122,000."
And before I forget, Merry Christmas.