Minister of Blood Sucking

Once in a while, I have conversations with old friends in Singapore. The topic of rising cost of living in Singapore will inevitably be brought up once too often, perhaps, to update me of the changes back there. The latest being parking charges increasing significantly (in terms of percentage). Woah, parking. I found myself rolling my eyes up to recall when was the last time I paid any parking charges in Perth. 

One of the interesting thing I observe of Singaporeans living in Perth is that we visit one another's house 99% of the time instead of meeting up somewhere out there in an eatery or shopping complex like what we do in Singapore. I always wonder why. One thing for sure, whenever we visit or get visited, the hours seem to go by lightning quick. No one gets jittery over their expired parking coupons or cash card fees chalking up. Perhaps there is no need to justify our parking fees by milking its maximum value to visit a nice shopping centre instead of our template stamped HDB flats (and they say Perth is boring?) Or perhaps to enjoy free air con.

If that is the case, the old Singaporean joke of, "Perhaps one day, the CB government will charge us for air!" is not as far-fetched as once thought. As we know, there is no free lunch. Someone will be paying for air con, even if it isn't you. I told my friend it was such a pity LTA did not make use of a local talent like me. I would be contented with just a small director's role, well worth the money I would be paid, with the money I would be making for the company. And I don't need to invest millions of dollars in infrastructure to suck blood from happy Singaporeans. In fact, I should be hired all across the statutory agencies to craft nice little profitable policies. Implement a little fee here or there, hike up the fares now and then, Singaporeans will only complain a little and move on with life. No problem. As long as personal income tax remains low. Haha.

Well I heard Ah Ching lost money at the mahjong table again. So what shall we introduce this new financial year to help her recoup her capital for the next game? We can try some of these.

Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA)

To implement a new regulation (for Singaporean residents only) for cashing out casino winnings. To cash out, the customer is required to gamble one last round of dice in a winner takes all format. Winning will ensure a full cash out, less 15% tax donation for The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) to aid their awareness programs.

National Environment Agency (NEA)

Publications from NUS confirm the harmful impact of air conditioners to the environment. Thus Singaporeans will be required to pay a levy for every air condition unit in the premise. The levy will be varied in accordance to the air conditioner system. I.e. higher charge of $140/month for system four as compared to $130/month for system three.

The newly launched initiative between LTA-NEA means that car owners shall pay new carbon tax according to their car category. A receipt of paid carbon tax shall be presented before LTA issues a road tax renewal.

Housing and Development Board (HDB)

With the new changes to air conditioner levy, air conditioner ledge shall be rezoned into commercial zones. Residents will thereby be required to pay ledge rental fees $100/month to house their air conditioners. Home owners are given the alternative to purchase a 99 year lease of a ledge with a one time payment of $15,000. HDB loans are available to help residents in need.

New HDB flat buyers who are unable to pay a down payment of 25% will be required to purchase a mortgage insurance of $13,500, which can be fully loaned from the HDB.

Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)

To commensurate the 4th highest ranking passport in the world, holders of the iconic red passport will be required to bear a "differentiated passport charge" in a pay-by-use system. Since statistics show that 90% of the passport holders do not travel, this will only affect a minority.

Ministry of Education (MOE)

Statistics show the rise of rogue tuition teachers, a urgent need is required for the tuition industry to be regulated. All tuition teachers must be licensed by the MOE or can be liable for fine, imprisonment, or both.

Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)

Pet fish owners are be required to licence their pet fishes. The board has formed a CEC to do feasibility studies to extend the requirements to pet hamsters.

National Parks Board (NParks)

Park users to pay for Park Insurance that covers parks accidents to gain admission to major parks and nature reserves.

Health Promotion Board (HPB)

All children will be required to do a yearly health check to be awarded a health pass. Any child with not health pass will not be allowed enter school or child care premises.

Land Transport Authority (LTA)

Studies done by NUS indicates million of dollars lost in traffic jams caused by cars breaking down on highways. Cars will have to undergo a mandatory vehicle inspection every week at LTA approved servicing centres.

Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS)

Travellers returning to Singapore to pay GST for purchases. Likewise, online shoppers are required to pay GST for purchases from 1 Jan 2017 onward.

However, income tax shall remain low.

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