Forum: Don't use annual value of home to determine help needed

A general view of private and public housing in Singapore.
A general view of private and public housing in Singapore.ST PHOTO: SHINTARO TAY

When I received a letter notifying me of Care and Support Package payments, I felt sorry for my children.

They have missed out on a lot because they are living with their parents in a landed property, as the Government uses the annual value of a person's home as a measure of the help he needs.

Housing Board flat dwellers are not necessarily low-income earners, and landed property residents may not necessarily be in a position to not need support.

For example, seniors living with their children, nephews or nieces in private housing are not eligible for support that they may need. As dependants relying on the charity of family members, they are not in a position to demand the sale of a house in which they have no stake.

An alternative to the blunt instrument of annual value should be found. For example, benefits could be given to all citizens, and be clawed back in part or in whole based on a citizen's earned income for the year when he files his taxes.

There are other ideas and variations that could be explored.

Jenny Khoo Swee Siang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2020, with the headline 'Don't use annual value of home to determine help needed'. Print Edition | Subscribe