Wrong to withhold subsidies based on 'lottery effect'

Aerial view of Keppel Club which will accommodate about 9,000 apartments after the land lease expires.
Aerial view of Keppel Club which will accommodate about 9,000 apartments after the land lease expires.PHOTO: ST FILE

The suggestion by Mr Soo Weng Keong to get rid of the HDB subsidy for those flats to be built on the land where Keppel Club sits by virtue of the fact that these flat-owners will reap a handsome profit when they resell is untenable (Govt subsidy should not go to luxury seafront homes, Aug 30).

His idea of having to moderate government spending in view of impending increase in social spending is laudable.

Consideration must be given to the fact that since the inception of HDB flat sales to the public, no such discrimination in subsidies has been exercised and to do so now, or in future, will be wrong.

Case in point: Seafront HDB flats from Marine Parade to Punggol were not "penalised". Furthermore, those at the Greater Southern Waterfront Keppel club site will not be the last to enjoy rewards from such privileged locations. Where then do we draw a line?

We should not begrudge those who happen to be lucky in reaping some benefits from their purchase.

Whether or not some enjoy a windfall in vehicle certificates of entitlement, housing grants, Pioneer Generation handouts and so on, that is their luck.

To deny anyone a subsidy for HDB flats for whatever reason requires nothing short of a total revamp of the HDB housing policy.

Phillip Tan Fong Lip

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 03, 2019, with the headline 'Wrong to withhold subsidies based on 'lottery effect''. Print Edition | Subscribe