Parliament debated the spending plans of the Transport, Environment and Water Resources, and Social and Family Development ministries yesterday. Chong Zi Liang highlights five ideas that were discussed.
MORE LIFTS AT TRAIN STATIONS
Non-Constituency MP Leon Perera asked for at least one more lift to be installed at each MRT and LRT station to ease the load on existing lifts.
Having two lifts will also be useful in case one of them breaks down, he said, noting that the number of wheelchair users is likely to grow as the population ages.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo said the Government was already looking into installing more lifts at train stations.
All MRT stations and bus interchanges offer barrier-free access.
MORE COEs FOR MOTORCYCLES
Mr Henry Kwek (Nee Soon GRC) said there should be more certificates of entitlement for motorcycles, as congestion is expected to be better managed with the next-generation Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system.
He added that motorcycles are smaller in size and contribute less to congestion.
Senior Minister of State for Transport Ng Chee Meng said the size of motorcycles has already been taken into account in ERP rates, which is why motorcyclists incur lower fees.
They also pay significantly lower vehicle taxes, he added.
LEGAL ADVICE ON FIRMS CAUSING HAZE
Nominated MP Mahdev Mohan proposed that the Law Society assemble a panel of corporate lawyers, who can give the Government advice on the legal steps to take against companies suspected of causing haze pollution.
These lawyers can liaise with their counterparts in other affected countries, said the NMP, who is a law professor.
Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said the idea will be considered at the next review of the Transboundary Haze Pollution Act.
EXPAND FOOD-WASTE RECYCLING
Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh suggested that the food-waste recycling programmes currently at two hawker centres be expanded to include nearby coffee shops, foodcourts and HDB households.
Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor said food-waste recycling machines have been installed in about 30 places, including Resorts World Sentosa, JEM and Singapore Polytechnic.
An upcoming pilot project will collect food waste from multiple locations in Clementi for recycling.
STANDARDISE INCOME CRITERIA FOR AID SCHEMES
Ms Tin Pei Ling (MacPherson) said the Government should apply the same income criteria across the board to determine if someone can qualify for government assistance schemes.
She suggested using the net per capita income - the total income of a family divided by the number of members - saying it is a fairer assessment of a family's true earning and spending power.
Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Faishal Ibrahim said certain programmes focus on unique beneficiaries and hence require different income definitions. Nevertheless, the Government will continue to simplify application processes, he added.