Managed to read a statistic report on the Key Household Income Trend of Singapore 2012 done up by Department of Statistics Singapore in Feb 2013. The report may be downloaded here.
A few things struck me as I read the report quickly. However, firstly, here are the highlights on the report.
Firstly, there has been a real increase of the median household monthly income from work by 2.7 per cent.
Secondly, the 1st to 60th percentiles has stronger real growth from 2007 to 2012 as compared to five years earlier, 2002 to 2007.
Thirdly, while an average household receives $1,340 per household member of government transfers annually (I read this as government handouts), those in HDB 1-2 rooms flats received an average of $6,140 per household member annually.
Lastly, the Geni coefficient has risen from 0.473 to 0.478 but with government transfers, that has lowered to 0.459.
While these seems good and dandy, I wonder what are the government transfers considered in the statistics. Are these real money handouts, CPF funds or reliefs and rebates? The report goes on to say that in retiree households in 1-2 room HDB, they get an average of $8,848 annually, that’s about $737 per month. Strangely, even retiree household in landed property get $1,090 annually.
While the Geni coefficient has dropped after the government transfer, I really need to find out what constitute these transfers.
Of course at the end of the day, we understand that the statistic department get their data from either CPF board and IRAS. Much of the income from the higher percentile do not come from reported income, so the Geni coefficient may not be so accurate after all.
Finally, I personally think that while the rich do get richer in Singapore, the poor in Singapore are much better off compared to the poor in regional countries. Of course, poorer folks in other countries always have the option of moving to the rural area where cost of living is lower, but then so is the standard of living. Thus, with Singapore’s standard of livings, we ain’t doing too bad… (I hope)