PAP rally

GE2015: PM Lee's assurance on cost of living

At last night's rally, PM Lee said the PAP Government will continue to help citizens cope with the cost of living.
At last night's rally, PM Lee said the PAP Government will continue to help citizens cope with the cost of living. ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

The People's Action Party (PAP) Government will continue to help citizens cope with the cost of living, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave this assurance at the PAP's first election rally last night.

"(For) the big things which cost money - housing, medical care, transportation, education - these especially, the Government is able to help you," he said, highlighting moves in the two policy areas of housing and healthcare.

The Government has "gone a long way to help every Singaporean own a home" and is continuing to improve its schemes, he said. He cited changes announced in his National Day Rally speech last month, such as raising the income ceiling for Housing Board flats to $12,000 from $10,000 previously, and giving lower-income families more help to buy flats.

With more subsidies, the net price for a two-room flat is now $30,000 and many families have been able to afford it, he said. In the last four years, 1,800 families earning less than $1,000 a month have bought two-room flats.

"So when I say we have made housing more affordable to help people with the cost of living, I'm telling the truth."

CONTINUED HELP

(For) the big things which cost money - housing, medical care, transportation, education - these especially, the Government is able to help you.

PM LEE

In healthcare, he named the Pioneer Generation Package of benefits for Singaporeans born in 1949 or earlier, and the Community Health Assist Scheme for lower- and middle-income households. The Government is also building more community hospitals to avoid the problems faced in other countries, where healthcare might be free but waiting lists are long.

"In Singapore, I think we try our best to make a system in which everybody can get the treatment they need," he said. "You have to pay some, but if you need the treatment you can get the treatment. And that is our promise to you."

The PAP is also addressing the cost of living in other areas, said Mr Lee, adding that he would speak about other policies in the days to come.

Janice Heng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2015, with the headline 'PM Lee's assurance on cost of living'. Print Edition | Subscribe