National Development Minister answers public queries on housing and low fertility rate

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan has reiterated the need for an income cut off limit when it comes to housing schemes.

Speaking to some 100 people at a post-National Day Rally feedback session organised by REACH, Mr Mah noted though, that it’s not always cut and dry when it comes to dealing with the sandwich class.

These are first time home-buyers who earn more than $8,000.

Their incomes are too high for most new HDB projects, but are too low for private condominiums.

Mr Mah said the government does exercise flexibility at the margins and will address those with problems on a case-by-case basis.

During the two-hour session, Mr Mah devoted a substantial amount of time on housing and immigration issues.

He also said the government could do more to help the ageing population, without going into specifics.

One dialogue participant suggested that more couples would start families if more flats were built.

But Mr Mah said there’s more that goes into family planning.

“It helps if you have a house. The fact that you don’t have a house straight away doesn’t mean you cannot have babies.

“Whether you have a baby or not, it’s more than just having a house – it is your career, it is your wife’s choice, it is your choice. So, it’s not as simple as that,” he said.

Source : Channel NewsAsia– 31 Aug 2010

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