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A slew of news reports in recent weeks tells us that Singapore’s housing market has reached new and dangerous heights. The irrational exuberance that has gripped our nation’s housing prices spells trouble for our future.$CUT$
Recent prices of flats being sold for$1 million and more has fueled a market that is spiraling outof control. Piecemeal cooling measures taken by the Ministry ofNational Development has failed to bring prices under control.
In fact, analysts project that homeprices are set to rise even higher by as much as 10 percent in thecoming months.
All this is fueled by easy credit, low interest rates and the influx offoreigners into our housing market.
The combination of these policies put in place by the PAP Government has inflicted much damage on public housing in Singapore. The aspirations of a youngergeneration of Singaporeans of owning their own homes have been all but dashed.
This, in turn, has caused our birthrate to plummet to alarming levels. At a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of 0.78 births per woman, we are the least fertile country in the world. (A TFR of at least two children per woman of child-bearing age is needed for us to maintain present levels and to reduce the population’s median age.)
This alarming trend will have great ramifications for our economy in the future as we see our local population plummet.
In addition, those who bought their flats at the high prices that the Government has forced upon Singaporeans risk getting caught in aproperty bubble that when burst will wreak havoc to their equity and, together with it, pull down the entire economy.
The PAP is, however, still in denialmode and refusing to see thatits policies have over the decades built a housing systemthat is unsustainable.
The SDP cannot make it any clearer: Our housing problems are big and set to getworse. If we blindly continue down the PAP’s road and do nothing, we will suffer tragic consequences.
The SDP has drawn up an alternative housing plan called Housing A Nation: Holistic Policies For Affordable Homes. Our plan will reduce the negative impact of the current system and help Singapore overcome the dangers that confront our nation’s public housing.
We have developed proposals that will diffusethe PAP’s housing time bomb. These alternative policies are simple as they are innovative. They address the problems of
- youngerSingaporeans unable to buy their flats because they have becometoo expensive.
- people stuckwith high monthly mortgage payments taken from their CPFsavings so that by the time they finish paying off their homes, theyhave nothing left for their retirement.
- the PAP’s rent-seekingpolicies that benefit the rich few,leaving the masses struggling and living precariously.
The SDP plan will lead our country to a more wholesome and sustainable housing system, help boost our population growth and bring about a productive economy. We are confident thatSingaporeans will find our Plan meaningful and worthy ofconsideration.
The paper will be launched in November 2012. Details of the launch will be announced in the coming days.
This policy paper comes on the heels of The SDP National Healthcare Plan: Caring For All Singaporeans which has been warmly received by Singaporeans.
The Singapore Democrats continue to endeavour to be a competent, constructive and compassionate party worthy of the support of the people as the alternative ruling party.