The SDA is concerned about the impact of high prices of HDB flats on the retirement savings of Singaporeans.
This is a problem for Singaporeans young and old, seeing how 80 percent of our people live in public housing.
Around 800,000 Singaporeans use their CPF savings to pay for their housing loan instalments each year.
And, most Singaporeans use their entire CPF savings to pay for their HDB flat.
Young Singaporeans struggle with affordability as the rise in prices of BTO and resale flats have outpaced their salaries over the years.
This leaves them little for retirement.
The trend is seen today in the plight of elderly Singaporeans.
Less than 50 percent of elderly Singaporeans have enough CPF savings for at least 6 months of housing loan instalments, according to the Central Provident Fund.
In times of financial need, they would not have CPF savings to fall back on.
Their circumstances are made worse if they do not have enough cash savings on hand.
The public housing problem is deep-rooted, caused by poor housing policies over the past decades.
The government insists on pegging prices of new flats to the prices of “comparable” resale flats.
Yet, prices of resale flats have risen at almost double the pace of median incomes in the last 30 years.
Prices must rise, because Singaporeans have to protect their nest egg – their CPF savings, of which they wiped out to pay for their flat in the first place.
And therein, the vicious cycle brought on by the government’s promise that HDB prices will never fall.
The SDA raised this issue as recently as 2020, in our manifesto.
It is worrying to see that not only has little improvement been made since then, the situation has instead taken a turn for the worse.
The government says that it must take into account the rising cost of land when pricing new flats.
Yet, it doesn’t publicly acknowledge that much of this land was acquired cheaply decades ago from our grandparents and great-grandparents.
How can it be the case that Singaporeans today are being held hostage by our own land, by a government that is supposed to act in our best interest?
The Public Housing Motion raised in parliament is a good start to confront the issue of public housing affordability.
The government must do right by all Common Singaporeans, and ensure that enriching the government coffers does not come at the expense of our retirement savings.
Singapore Democratic Alliance