Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How is it like to be retrenched in world's tenth most expensive city?

Firstly, your fear has been confirmed. It is not your illusion that it is getting more difficult to make ends meet. You were right when you thought the utilities bill, phone bill, your child's education and your household grocery bill have all gone up. Now you know why you are seeing more $5 chicken rices than $2 ones...

Survey shows Singapore is world's 10th most expensive city

SINGAPORE: Singapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world, according to the latest survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, which shows the city-state moving up five positions to 10th place.

This means Singapore is now Asia's third most expensive city to live in.

Claiming the top seat worldwide is Tokyo, followed by Osaka - no thanks to the stronger yen.

But Asia is also home to the least expensive cities, with Manila and Mumbai near the bottom of the list.

Others include New Delhi and Kathmandu.

The Economist says the relative cost of living depends on two factors - local prices and exchange rates.

And the global economic crisis has also led to some dramatic results.

Iceland's Reykjavik was the fifth most expensive city last year.

Now, using February exchange rates, it has fallen to 67th place.

Then you realised that the job losses are not going to stop. More are expected to be retrenched, even with the Job Credit, which the government was so confident in, being put in place. And if you were to be so unfortunately retrenched, the apparent solution offered to you is to get yourself enrolled into some training programme. But will you get paid while been trained?

Job losses this year expected to exceed 29,000, says SNEF

SINGAPORE: This year's retrenchment figures are likely to bust the record of 29,000 jobs lost in 1998 during the Asian financial crisis, according to Singapore National Employers Federation’s (SNEF’s) president, Stephen Lee.

Mr Lee was commenting on a survey finding by HR firm Manpower Staffing Services where 636 employers across seven industry sectors were polled.

The survey found that 50 per cent of employers anticipate a cut in headcount, 29 per cent expect no change, while only seven per cent expect to increase staff strength in the second quarter.

On an industry basis, the survey found that the bleakest prospects are in the transport and utilities sectors, followed by public administration and education.

Hiring prospects are also weak in the trade and retail and services sectors, although quarter-over-quarter, there has been a slight improvement in the outlook for the finance, insurance and real estate sectors.

One emerging trend is more contract hiring, which gives more flexibility to employers.

SNEF has seen such numbers growing from 172,000 in 2006 to 190,000 last year and expects it to strengthen further.

SNEF says the silver lining here are the few sectors that are still hiring like the integrated resorts and start-ups, and encouraging take-up rates for training.

13,000 workers from 30 companies are taking up the national training programme SPUR.

But the job situation is likely to get worse before it gets better.

Mr Lee said: "NTUC's secretary-general Lim Swee Say had already said most likely in the first quarter, retrenchment figures will hit 10,000. So if we work on that sort of figure, then I anticipate that in the second quarter, it (retrenchment figures) will continue to escalate. I don't think we have seen the worst yet. Hopefully it will peak out in the second quarter of this year."

Now you are really getting distressed. What if you are going to be contributing to the retrenchment figures? How are you going to get through this recession?

Fear not. Accordingly, the MCYS has the objective of providing "assurance and hope for needy Singaporeans":
  • 1-person household : $360

  • 2-persons household : $630

  • 3-persons household : $790

  • 4-persons household : $950

  • 5-persons or more household : $1,150

Thus, you will receive $1,150 for your family consisting of your wife, two kids, parents and yourself. Sorry, there is no such category as 6-persons. You will have to send one of your parents to JB and hope that $1,150 is adequate to cover your household expenses. Or pray hard that the cleaning company has decided to employ you as a cleaner, rather than that foreign "talent" who do not mind working for less pay.




  1. LOL on the 6th person point. So it's all planned by them, the JB and all.

  2. I find it interesting on how the government had highly recommended us to have two or more kids, but is only prepared to support poor families with only 5 members or less... Is the government assuming that if we are poor we are not obliged to support our old parents?

  3. Hello Everybody,
    My name is Mrs Sharon Sim. I live in Singapore and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of S$250,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of S$250,000.00 SG. Dollar, he is a GOD fearing man, if you are in need of loan and you will pay back the loan please contact him tell him that is Mrs Sharon, that refer you to him. contact Dr Purva Pius,via email:( Thank you.