24 January 2013

So Many Government Schemes Announced

It's not often that the Government announces so many schemes, initiatives or measures in so short a span of time as in the past fortnight.

8 January  Ministry of National Development instructed to review the sale and leaseback of PAP-managed town councils' management software with Action Information Management.

10 January  Train operators to be subject to stiffer penalties and held to more stringent standards.

11 January  Measures to cool the private and public housing markets.

14 January  Singles to be allowed to buy new HDB flats for owner-occupation.

17 January  Plans to double the rail network.

18 January  About 200,000 housing units — 80,000 private properties, 10,000 executive condominium units and 110,000 public housing units, collectively equivalent to four new Ang Mo Kio towns — to  come on-stream by 2016.

21 January  Marriage and Parenthood Package 2013.

22 January  Deferral of exhumation at Bukit Brown cemetery.

22 January  New Medifund Junior to defray healthcare costs for children from lower- and middle-income families.

23 January  More affordable child and infant care services for lower- and middle-income families.

24 January  Plans for covered walkways to link MRT stations to surrounding developments.

Many, though not all, people will be happy with these schemes, initiatives and measures.  And, according to psychologists, emotions are fleeting and in general seem to disappear without a trace.  So good things must be given repeatedly to reinforce and increase happiness (and bad news all at once).

Does the timing of some of these have anything to do with the Punggol East by-election for which the writ of election was issued on 9 January and which will be held on 26 January?  Maybe it's simply a coincidence.

What about the bad news?  No Government cabinet minister has said anything about where the revenue to fund some of these new or enhanced schemes will come from.  Since the Government does not believe in budget deficits (neither do I, except to stimulate an economy in recession), perhaps the minister for finance will be giving us the bad news in Budget 2013.

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Notes

1. This article was updated on 24 January 2013 9:50 a.m.

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