Money’s too tight to mention

According to the local media and pundits, this year will be election year for Singapore. And so it is with bated breath that I tuned into the radio to listen in on the Singapore Budget announcement on 18 Feb 2011. 

Although the announcement yielded a number of goodies for the nation, small-media enterprises and for employers, it seems like mid-level citizens are left a little out in the cold. 

Sure, there are payouts and incentives for lower income workers and families but what about the people in the middle income range? Most Singaporeans fall into this level and yet there are not many incentives for them. Is it because people from the middle-classes are deemed most comfortable, therefore most likely to overcome inflation?

 At the rate that the prices are escalating, it is only a matter of time before everyone is scrambling. Despite local grocery chain, NTUC Fair Price giving consumers 5% rebates on their purchases, it does not alleviate the prices by much. So what more can the government do?

To be honest, not much. With the rebates and the tax reliefs that the businesses are getting, I am hoping some these benefits will be channelled to the people. By that, I mean the people who are like me, middle-income earners who need incentives to cope with the rising prices.  This extends to new families too.

That would be the ideal situation. However, I am unsure of companies’ reactions. Based on what I’ve experienced over the years, companies (even multinational corporations) tend to horde all the benefits for rainy days or to incentivize their top-level talent instead of rewarding support staff. When it comes to support staff, there will always be additional hoops to jump or another appraisal to go through before incentives come through. 

It begs the question. What is top talent worth without their support staff? And why should top-talent only benefit? Companies should start incentivising their support staff properly. I’m not just talking about shopping vouchers but with bonuses, pay raises or cash incentives. These are the items which will benefit a worker much more than just having a bunch of shopping vouchers. It’ll probably help them feed a family or in my case, help me stay out of debt.

There has to be a smarter way in dealing with the inflation and also in keeping the people happy. I just feel that it is not solely up to the government to do so.

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Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P
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