Free Public Transport in Singapore.
Public transport should be free in Singapore, to all, without limit. Quite simply, this one simple measure would do much more to help the poor than many another initiative. This would mean a gift of freedom of movement, when and where one pleased, irrespective of ability to pay - and that would be liberating for many.
A government spokesman has said that if the public want free buses and MRTs that it would cost a 1.5% raise in GST. I presume this was said to convince people NOT to ask for such a thing...yet, pause for awhile. What does a 1.5% tax on spending mean for Singaporeans? Well, that depends if you are a big spender or not.
If you are relatively poor and your family spends 1000 dollars a month on GST liable items, your GST payment is 15 dollars. Yet, if one family member takes two journeys at 1.50 dollars each, that would amount to 3 dollars a day - or 90 dollars a month. Thus, this person of modest means would save 75 dollars a month, from this initiative. What if this consists of a typical Singaporean family (two parents, one child)...well, that would be a saving of 7.10 dollars a day or 213 dollars a month - minus 15 dollars, which would equal 198 dollars not spent. That is a HUGE increase in the effective income of this poor family.
Indeed, is notable that GST liable spending must reach 6,000 dollars per month before the extra GST paid equals the transport costs of one typical person making two 1.50 dollar journeys per day for the month. Clearly, most families in Singapore are BETTER off with a 1.5% increase in GST and free public transport in return. (Especially since this is the income per person who travels on public transport required before this measure becomes more expensive than actually paying for public transport.)
Only the very rich (ie. Government ministers and their equivalents) would be inconvenienced by this tax rise. So, only the rich need complain about it. If transport is free, those who are of low income and middle income, will benefit immensely. In other words, the VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN SINGAPORE ARE BETTER OFF with free transport and 1.5% extra GST.
Then again, those with working memories will recall that last year's tax surplus was 6.4 Billion dollars with 7 % GST. Given that situation, is there any real need for an increase of GST, at all? Singapore's coffers are more than full enough to pay for free public transport for all, without any difficulty. This is the kind of initiative that would actually make a difference to people's lives. The poor, the elderly and those with large families (for whom travel can add up quite quickly) would all find the increased mobility a great boon. This is a quality of life issue. If the Singaporean government is really concerned about the quality of life of its citizens then public transport should soon be free for all.
There would be another benefit of free public transport: the famously over-crowded Singaporean roads would become clearer, for fewer would see so much value in driving expensive cars on expensive ERP penalized roads. Indeed, free public transport would do a lot more to free up the roads than all the ERP in the world is capable of achieving. In fact, the government's response to this will tell us what their true values are: is it to make money (such as from ERP) or is it to make life better for its citizens?
Free public transport will free the roads - something ERP has singularly failed to do.
So, let all who value the quality of life in Singapore put their voice forward to support the proposition that public transport in Singapore should be free for all, without limit, as soon as possible.
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, a scientific child prodigy, aged eight years and seven months, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, five years exactly, and Tiarnan, twenty-eight months, please go to: http://scientific-child-prodigy.blogspot.com/2006/10/scientific-child-prodigy-guide.html I also write of gifted education, IQ, intelligence, the Irish, the Malays, Singapore, College, University, Chemistry, Science, genetics, left-handedness, precocity, child prodigy, child genius, baby genius, adult genius, savant, wunderkind, wonderkind, genio, гений ребенок prodigy, genie, μεγαλοφυία θαύμα παιδιών, bambino, kind.
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