The following post is republished from Yeoh Lam Keong’s Facebook.
We are indeed treating our low income baby boomers shamefully.
These citizens, more than any others, built modern Singapore with their hands, blood, sweat and tears.
They saw us from Third World to First, earning third world and middle income wages for much of their working lives, but now have to retire with first world living costs.
Their plight has been amplified by reckless immigration policy that has depressed the wages of the working class for the last 20 years, and encourages their early redundancy in favor of cheap foreign labour.
Now we turn around and give them a measly $200 per month under the Silver Support Scheme (our recent means tested non contributory pension) rather than $600-700, a decent living allowance we can well afford.
We ask them to downgrade or reverse mortgage their hard earned HDB flats to pay for medical and living expenses without first ensuring they have adequate smaller flats or elderly care centres within or near to the communities they worked in and made friends all their lives, or without adequately considering their valid lifelong ambitions for simple bequest.
Our pioneer generation package is similarly woefully short of a decent state organized and insured universal long term and chronic primary healthcare system that is still missing in action in Singapore compared to even Hong Kong or Taiwan.
We leave the heavy lifting of their care in twilight years to their shrinking families or to charities, where in all other developed countries, these are the rightful public goods and responsibilities of the state.
Is this social justice?
Yeoh Lam Keong is former GIC Chief Economist and current Adjunct Professor in Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS.Follow us on Social Media
Send in your scoops to firstname.lastname@example.org