How poor or how rich are Singaporeans?

By: Chua Chin Leng

Leong Sze Hian quoted some numbers from the MOM. Let me quote below:

Median gross income of all employed residents (excluding employer CPF) is much lower?

However, if you look at the Ministry of Manpower’s (MOM) Yearbook of Manpower Statistics 2016 – the median gross income of all employed residents (excluding employer CPF) is much lower, at $3,125.

407,400 earn less than $1,500?

There were 407,400 residents (about 19.4 per cent of the total workforce of $2.1 million) whose median gross income was less than $1,500 monthly.

After CPF = less than $1,200?

If we deduct the maximum employee CPF contribution of 20 per cent – the net take-home pay may be less than $1,200.

Arguably, most of the 407,400 people with take-home pay of less than $1,200 may be struggling to make ends meet.

47,000 earn less than $500?

I am stunned by a few numbers from the above stats. 407,400 or 19.4 per cent of the residents earned less than $1,500.  This is not much different from the pay of our top cleaning supervisors. My God, so many earned the same salary as cleaners! And after less CPF, the take come salary is only $1,200, the salary of ordinary cleaners.

This is jiat lat man. How to survive in this most expensive city in the world, or among the top few most expensive cities in the world? But there is one comfort, the govt has made home ownership so cheap. With $1,000 they can buy a 2 rm flat to stay. At least this is a consoling point, got a roof over the heads. Not sure how much left for food and other necessities.

But aren’t Singaporeans the richest people in Asia? Very high income, asset rich, highest quality of life. Putting the two together, this must be another Singapore miracle. Earning less than $1,500 and can afford to live well in one of the most expensive cities in the world when some complained that their family life would be affected if they did not earn more than millions in annual income.

I really respect and admire those earning less than $1,500 pm and living well. I am still wondering how they could do it? They must be switching to eating fish when meat becomes too expensive.


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