19 November 2007

Increasing(ly Insane) Inflation

Inflation, inflation, how I detest thee.

"First, the CPI measures average changes in prices across all households. Whether there is an increase in the cost of living for a particular household depends on that household’s spending patterns. Switching to cheaper products can reduce the cost of living despite a rise in the CPI." (Lim Hng Kiang)

- Taxi fares have obviously gone up. Some examples: the midnight surcharge starts at 11.30pm; the surcharge of taking a cab from the airport have gone up; peak hours have increased.
- The cost of buying cars have gone down--yay! But not the cost of driving one. $5 to use the CTE up til 10.30pm on weekdays (someone say daylight robbery?). After that, just sit back, relax and enjoy the view. With the traffic gnarl that forms at that unholy hour, there's not much you can do anyway. I don't drive, but I'm pissed that a traffic control "solution" is one that does not solve the problem but instead heaps more stress on the commuters. GAH.
- Petrol costs. Wahahahaha. It's insane.
- So anyways, if the cost of taking taxis and cars is too much for you, switch to a cheaper alternative of taking buses. Sorry that they take 1 hour to arrive, despite being so world crass and all. Oh, and they keep increasing the bus fares too, despite their already mind-boggling profits. Why leh? Cos the price of oil lah. (How convenient.)

- The rental rate is shooting through the roof, with tenants asking for 50% more rent, easily.
- Resale market is red hot now. $50,000 above valuation for a flat fairly near town is considered "pretty reasonable leh!" these days, when barely 6-8 months ago, folks will be screaming bloody murder at these rates.
- En-bloc millionaires will be entering the property market in a few months. What will happen to the HDB resale market then? ("$700k for a 5room flat in Marine Parade? No problemo, I've got the moolah.")

- Have you eaten at foodcourts / hawker centres recently? Anyone noticed how the $2.00 bak chor mee (dowan tur kwa, prease) is now $2.50? Or the western food that was $3.50 $4.00 $4.50 and now, $4.80?
- Speaking of food, the rates for wedding dinner tables are increasing by almost 10% every year. It was $800 per table for a while.. then $900, then $1000, then now creaping up to $1100...

Medical Fees
- Means testing. If you earn a bit more, you may have to pay a lot more now. So fun, huh?

Over and above all these categories, as a safety net to ensure that inflation will indeed occur, is the lovely 2% GST hike. So if you buy a car, you gotta pay 2% more. You eat at that fancy restaurant (or even not-so-fancy restaurant), that's another 2% added to the bill, on top of the price adjustments due to the rising cost of flour, eggs, chicken and such. If you don't do any of the above and just buy some random thing (like electronic goods, perhaps... or go for a massage to escape from all these monetary woes...), there's the good ol' 7% GST to squeeze your coffers just a wee bit more.

Oh, so what if I'm already taking buses everywhere, eating at foodcourts and renting an apartment, cos I can't afford a car, the taxis and an apartment?

*shrugs* There's public assistance, but dat one not that easy to qualify one. That one also got increase. From $260 to $290 per month. Not sure what you can do with that, but dun say govt nair give more money to poor people.

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