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Income Inequality in Singapore

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singapore eagle
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Postby singapore eagle » Fri, 16 Aug 2013 10:23 am

I genuinely don't thing the average Singaporean knows that cases like the ones PNGMK highlights exist.

The government has been alluding to this recently. Your typical Singaporean is streamed in school from a very early age. Their friends are almost always educated to a similar level and get similar types of jobs. If you're, say, smart enough to get to university, it is very unlikely that you are going to mix of on a day-to-day basis with an odd-job labourer. And your neighbours at home, by definition, are going to be people with similar levels of wealth.

It's probably only when you see an old man sifting through the bins, that you even think that there might be another side to Singapore. But even then, I don't think there is full understanding. I've been warned not to buy tissues because the person selling "only pays about 5c per pack at Watson's, you know. They're making very good money". And I've had arguments with my wife about just giving our old newspapers to the garang guni man "because garang guni men are very rich what".

This all said, I'm a 'rich' expat and live in my own ivory tower, so I'm hardly one to moralise here.

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Postby PNGMK » Fri, 16 Aug 2013 11:02 am

singapore eagle wrote:I genuinely don't thing the average Singaporean knows that cases like the ones PNGMK highlights exist.

The government has been alluding to this recently. Your typical Singaporean is streamed in school from a very early age. Their friends are almost always educated to a similar level and get similar types of jobs. If you're, say, smart enough to get to university, it is very unlikely that you are going to mix of on a day-to-day basis with an odd-job labourer. And your neighbours at home, by definition, are going to be people with similar levels of wealth.

It's probably only when you see an old man sifting through the bins, that you even think that there might be another side to Singapore. But even then, I don't think there is full understanding. I've been warned not to buy tissues because the person selling "only pays about 5c per pack at Watson's, you know. They're making very good money". And I've had arguments with my wife about just giving our old newspapers to the garang guni man "because garang guni men are very rich what".

This all said, I'm a 'rich' expat and live in my own ivory tower, so I'm hardly one to moralise here.


There are a few issues that you brought out in my mind reading your post;

1. The never ending Asian jealousy / one-up-ness really stops a lot of decent charity work and sharing (as your wife alluded to). All the buddhist/islamic/christian messages about sharing and charity succumb quickly under the weight of this selfishness.

2. The absolutely crippling thing for a family here is to lose one partner to illness or injury (or to be a single mother without housing) - that's where a lot of the stories we saw started. Singaporean's need two incomes in a family at the basic wage level to survive - if one partner is out because of injury (as in the case of my daughter's birth father) - then they are in poverty as the one parents's wage is usually not enough to house AND feed the family.

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Postby Wd40 » Fri, 16 Aug 2013 11:19 am

the lynx wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Seriously $11,495 for company directors and senior management? To me that looks like middle level income. Senior management easily make 300k per annum and above.

Think about it, if you are director of a company and the lowest rung executive earns 5k a month, would you be happy earning just double that? I would like to earn atleast 5 times that or else why take all the pressure of being a director. :o


Obviously the said company directors and senior management belong to the SME clutter. By paying their cheap foreign labour under $3000, these 'directors' and 'senior managers' are proportionally earning close to 4 times their wages like that.


Well, in that case, those said company directors shouldn't be categorized in the high income bracket. I truely believe that the high income range is definitely not $11,495 -16,684. Its more like $25,000 and above.

Think about the Senior management of companies like DBS, OCBC,UOB, Singtel, Sembcorp, Keppel etc

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 16 Aug 2013 12:14 pm

PNGMK wrote:I've been involved peripherally with a Singapore charity. Up until a year ago we used to get a regular newsletter with stories in it. The stories all involve ghastly levels of poverty and sometimes abuse.

The poor here - do it very, very hard. Regardless of what SMS says there are people here who are still forced to give up their children for adoption because they literally cannot feed, clothe or educate them. I'm not talking about babies either - but 6 year olds and even teens. These people are earning money but sometimes only $500 and having to rent a room out of that and keep their four kids in it. We don't see that unless you're directly involved with these people. That's the problem with income equality here. I know this is not quite india levels of poverty but it's close.

As for the government helping there was a case recently where a homeless applicant go so frustrated with the paperwork (as he said - "how can I have my brothers and sisters NRIC and all their tax statements and education docs? I am homeless and on the street") he ended up being arrested for assault. The mother freaks who dole out the welfare are so up themselves with making sure that only the 'deserving get it' that in my opinion a lot less is given out than should be.

The Gini coefficient here is shameful and led in the main by the greedy PAP.


PNGMK,

I'm not saying that there isn't poverty here. I'm pretty sure you realize that. But the poverty here is isolated cases and not huge shanty towns of poverty stricken people. As an active member of our RC I am also involved with Com-Care, which is the People's Association organization to help the less fortunate. So I do see it, but it's not "widespread" like you would find in some of our neighbouring countries here. There are always those who fall through the cracks and that is what has been alluded to by the gahmen recently. There are tons of ways to get funds, but knowing how to and why it should be so necessary to jump through those hoops is where the problem lies. Of course, the flip side is having the same crap we have in the US & UK. Somewhere there needs to be a happy medium.

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Fri, 16 Aug 2013 12:21 pm

Wd40 wrote:Well, in that case, those said company directors shouldn't be categorized in the high income bracket. I truely believe that the high income range is definitely not $11,495 -16,684. Its more like $25,000 and above.

Think about the Senior management of companies like DBS, OCBC,UOB, Singtel, Sembcorp, Keppel etc



I would have to think that a 'High Earner' would be somebody in the highest tax bracket......so over $320,000/yr at 20%.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'

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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 16 Aug 2013 2:41 pm

ScoobyDoes wrote:
Wd40 wrote:Well, in that case, those said company directors shouldn't be categorized in the high income bracket. I truely believe that the high income range is definitely not $11,495 -16,684. Its more like $25,000 and above.

Think about the Senior management of companies like DBS, OCBC,UOB, Singtel, Sembcorp, Keppel etc



I would have to think that a 'High Earner' would be somebody in the highest tax bracket......so over $320,000/yr at 20%.


Which is just over $25k/month. :cool:

And yes, I agree that's a more reasonable benchmark. I know expats I consider in middle-management making more than that.

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Postby ScoobyDoes » Fri, 16 Aug 2013 9:04 pm

zzm9980 wrote:Which is just over $25k/month. :cool:

And yes, I agree that's a more reasonable benchmark. I know expats I consider in middle-management making more than that.



I didn't want to assume nobody could do maths ;)

By all accounts, I'm not a high earner.......maybe the penalty in running my own business.
'When Lewis Hamilton wins a race he has to thank Vodafone whereas in my day I used to chase the crumpet. I know which era I'd rather race in.'



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