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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

News Reports

Clarity is King

I wish the media would focus on explaining policy changes first before getting reactions from the usual suspects. I had to read ST, BT and Today to get a grip on the changes to get the elderly to “unlock’’ their housing asset. (Okay, I’m stupid) Times like this I just wish the media would put out two boxes on the Silver Housing Scheme and the Enhanced Lease Buyback scheme. Just tell me :

a. Who’s eligible for which scheme and how many of them are in this potential pool. I got a big picture number from BT on the number of elderly households in four and five-room flats who would be eligible for the Silver Housing Scheme, but not for those living in the smaller flats.

b. Take-up rate: applications and approvals which would give an idea of popularity. I gather the Silver Housing Bonus scheme hasn’t been implemented yet despite being announced in February. That’s nice – G listening to feedback ? In any case, why is this scheme better than selling on the re-sale market and then getting a smaller flat?

c. Pay-outs under the current and new scheme. There were 466 cases of people who sold their leases back to HDB. I wonder what they say now about missing out on the “enhanced’’ scheme…

d. Each box accompanied by a case-study, and in the case of lease buyback – a real case (someone who actually did the act then and what he would get if he waited)

I’ve always wondered about getting reactions from the ordinary folk. Their views are important of course but I would wonder about anyone who can give a considered response after a chat on the phone on the implications and complications of the policy changes. If it were me, I would want to look at my CPF numbers first.

Then there was the page 1 story on an exclusive interview with Health Minister Gan Kim Yong. I suppose because it was an exclusive, it was given more prominent play than the housing policy changes. But then again, it’s rather thin on the details no? So the G is likely to take a bigger share of the patient bill. Welcome news indeed! But what are we talking about here? What is the G share of the patient bill anyway? One example would do. Or are we lumping healthcare spending – operational and capital expenditure as part of the G share? Or just pure subsidies and grants that go into a patient’s hospital? Medishield premiums have already been raised – so I guess the patient share has gone up?

Anyway, it’s coming to the end of the year – and we can wait I guess.

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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