Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gimme The Old Model Anytime

The most popular minister in the cabinet just said that fare hikes are needed to keep bus contracting model sustainable. Makes you wonder if he ever asked himself whether the people needed a more expensive bus contracting model in the first place.

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew also said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working on a framework to assess the passenger threshold a new route ought to meet before it can be operated. What he should work on is the threshold of pain the average passenger will tolerate before this peaceful island will really turn red with seething anger.

Then follows the standard con job with the subsidy spiel: “The eventual amount of subsidy will crucially depend on whether fares and bus service standards are set realistically." We know by now the cost of the new bus system will be paid for either directly by commuters in the form of fare hikes or indirectly by taxpayers (in the form of Government "subsidies"). Notice the huge budget surplus this year is not factored into the equation.

Instead of stressing that new routes and higher service standards have to be “assessed judiciously”, what should be assessed is the performance of the ministers in respect of taking the commuters to the cleaners year after year. A new route could be tested for a few months and, if it does not cross the passenger threshold, the authorities may have to “sometimes make the painful decision to cut that route and eliminate it”. If pain alleviation is the objective, it would a more painless decision to cut some ministerial jobs.

Lui declined to reveal the Government’s budget to operate the system and how much it was prepared to subsidise the routes at this juncture. That's how paper generals and rear admirals work, spend the money first, let others worry about the cost. We only know one thing for sure: getting to work is going to me more expensive.

32 comments:

  1. " That's how paper generals and rear admirals work, spend the money first, let others worry about the cost."

    You might as well generalize that to the whole govt and political class since Mr peanut became PM. Peter Ho wrote a lengthy piece in ST yesterday: "think out of silo" was his message. I think they need to first destroy the current crop of civil servants' mentality of the never-ending taxpayer-funded fare or fee hikes as their cure-all. Throw away the cow's pet phrase: "we do it because it can be justified!" Work within a shrinking budget is what they need. They need some surgical procedure to their SoP: every percentage point of govt-generated inflation will be deducted against their salaries. But then again, inflation is their goal in a Keynesian world driven by debt" debt is growth, when you have a mountain of debt, then inflation is needed to repay debt. So it Mr money lui lui will have his "perpetual motion" machine ever rising fares funded somehow by an ever compliant populace, until the model breaks...

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    1. The rear of the rear admiral is the vice of the vice admiral.

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  2. 信不信由你.... 这次世界杯,意大离了,西班哑了、英格烂了、乌拉归了……1/4决赛:哥伦比哑了,法兰熄了,比利失了,哥斯达离家了!照这思路,接下去半决赛:巴熄了,荷烂了,决赛是德国阿根廷。最后:德过了,阿根停了,冠军应该是德国‼️

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    1. 言之过早,阿根挺定世界杯了。

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    2. 阿根挺定世界悲了

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    3. 德锅了 ...阿根定了 !

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    4. 阿根定了机票 balik kampong了 !

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    5. 言之不早 - Don't Cry for Me Argentina!

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  3. I wonder if his father realised the joke he played on the poor citizens when naming this guy "tuck you".

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  4. People are expected to pay more and more every year not to ensure the contracting model is sustainable but to entrench deadwoods and inefficiencies in the PTOs. Only the PAP government will promise under-performing companies (manned by their own kinds) lucrative bus operating contracts against public's interest. It is so wrong and irresponsible for the government to make taxpayers pay for the buses, infrastructures, operating costs and profits and bonuses for the bus companies.

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  5. I think LTA has problems managing the transport operators, the same way IDA has problems managing the Telco operators. Funny part is that they're all TLC owned. An overhaul is necessary, but it's far too complicated for scholars who've never ever run a business. TLC wins all the time. Always.

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  6. It's all a joke. They use fare increases and taxpayers money to ensure the "profitability" of the transport companies to pay out dividends mostly to TH anyway which is owned by the government. Minority shareholders also get to line their pockets.

    The transport companies basically run a duopoly with government backing it. If more fare increases will come, it just means a transfer of costs previously paid by the government to the people while the transport companies continue to report "profitability" with dividends collected from the people going into the government's pocket.

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  7. I guess those goons who castigated Ms Catherine Lim's article about loss of trust were right after all; Singaporeans trust that this bunch of *&^%$& overpaid underperforming ministers will always make us pay and pay even more. Hell is just the place for them.

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  8. Frequent Bus Fare Increase - PAP Minister First To Champion
    ---------------------------------
    What about frequent salary increase to pay for the frequent bus fare increase?
    Why no PAP Minister champion?
    We definitely cannot afford to support this PAP government anymore.
    We are being bankrupted liao.

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  9. Why am I not surprised?
    Whenever a PAP Minister has a problem.
    The solution is always to ask Singaporeans to pay more.

    Why are buses so crowded?
    Because PM Lee must have his 6.9 million population.
    And how to accommodate PAP’s 6.9 million population into our buses?
    Increase bus fare.

    Do you think you will ever hear PAP say;
    Singaporeans need frequent salary increase to pay for frequent increase in bus fares?

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  10. Frequent Bus Fare Increase
    - Where Is The Money Going To Come From?

    How are Singaporeans going to pay?
    Got frequent salary increase to help us pay or not ah?

    Money Saving Suggestion
    - vote out PAP and save your hard earned money

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  11. I agree with tattler, the old model was never pay and pay. There is still a well-known tale among older civil servants who worked in the Goh Keng Swee era. Papers asking for money with no sound reasoning, they would find two cricles on the front page their paper as DPM's comment. No one, including PM would ever dare re-table the same paper after that. Know what the 2 circles mean? Clue: in the old days, there weren't many senior lady officers in the civil service.

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  12. Old man already said in past interview, policies will not be adjusted/ changed/ adapted to pull the lower strata of society along the national progress.

    He unapologetically said he is prepared to lose those votes in elections. So be it.
    ( YouTube: Lee Kuan Yew Interview - Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going- Hot buttons Topics http://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLF9ULsaqSSrpk7PkU1OcZV2OajK3Y2GaZ&v=ihiE4oGyYlQ )
    Please see at 28 min 30 second EXACTLY what he said.

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    1. Then those in the lower strata of society should take up his arrogant challenge before he kicks the buckets and see how he would take it.
      After all there are enough of them to send him and party into oblivion

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    2. They prefer him to go than to argue with a sick old man.

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  13. When ever transport minister say to improve transport services, be very scare. Commuters will have to pay and pay. Yeap, give me back the old model with bus conductor and driver when we were paying 5cts to 10cts bus fare. By the way, our country is now turning into a 3rd world country so by right we should pay 3rd world country fare.

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  14. @1.37pm
    Nothing will change until;
    a. LKY dies …. AND
    b. PAP loses 5 GRC to the pro-Singaporean parties

    You gotta ask yourself.
    Is this a dysfunctional country?
    Where nothing can be changed until an old man dies.
    The entire Singapore.
    Sitting around waiting for him to die.

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  15. TARMAN just said the Govt bears all the risk and the risks are not passed to CPF members. What a fucking joke that must be as if the Govt's monies does not belong to the people ?

    Now again the Govt says they are paying for the buses as if the monies is not from the taxpayers. And on top of that the people will be made to pay for any fare increases to sustain the profitability of the bus companies!

    What a bloody joker we have here !!!

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    1. How does a government guarantee an investment? What does it entails? If GIC lost money, what will the guarantee mean? It means tax payers' money bailing GIC. It means the people's money guaranteeing the investments.

      So, in the final analysis, we (CPF members) are guaranteeing our own money. What risk is Tharman talking about?

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    2. It is quite subtle what kojak is saying here: he is not saying the people are totally insulated from both upside and downside of GIC/THL or MAS' internal or external fund managers. So far as we can tell, all returns beyond CPF interest rate are not returned to the people, it is at the rulers disposition and can be used to fund all sorts of spending including paying higher bonuses. But in event of losses to reserves, the value of reserves is simply written down, meaning the value of reserves backing the Sing dollar is lower (so your Sing dollar will be worth less). In event of heavy losses, the govt will just issue more IOU to plug the holes in GIC/THL, meaning again your sons will have to pay more taxes later. But no members of the government will have to fork out to pay for the losses. See, no PAP town council mayors had to pay for losing town council "sinking funds" in lehman bonds, same for govt reserves.

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    3. Money Money Money, Lui Lui Lui. What is there to be all agog over. As sure as the sun rises, Temasek owned transport companies like SMRT and SBS will be profitable even with the new contracting model. Dividends are almost guaranteed to the shareholders, whatever the model, from the mouth of the money.

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    4. If the PM can sue Roy for defamation, can we sue our Ministers for telling lies to the people ?

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    5. You cannot sue your MP for any untruths said in parliament.
      It's called parliamentary privileges.
      Outside of parliament ... then it's fair game.
      But in Singapore, you will still need to find a lawyer willing to take your case against a PAP MP (for example).

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    6. He is a good snake oil salesman. What he is saying is when there are losses, the MAS has the printing press (actually its just electronic: overnight MAS can create money and pass it to GIC/THL thru a few City Harvest-type loops) to patch up the holes created by foolish investment bets). Garmen also has the "unchallengeable" right to tax you to pay for bailouts, and if they don;t want the financial market to downgrade their AAA rating, they would worst case have to issue Sing govt bonds to pay for it. Cosmetically it looks like the garmen would "pay" for the losses, in reality you the taxpayer or saver will end up paying. Good smokescreen, too bad he forgot there is the internet to educate the "dummies" like you and me. I can hear now: 'yakult, shut the internet down!'

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  16. In a way this is a big bailout for the transport companies, whose profitability were declining. Wonder why the share prices of SMRT and SBS rallied with the announcement? Analysts and investors are no fools. Ultimately the fools are the commuters and taxpayers who will be footing the bills. With the headache of the maintenance of assets and infrastructures taken over by the government, and the bottomline guaranteed by the Minister, how to lose? All the shareholders will be laughing their way to the bank.

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/singapore/bus-contracting-model/1115658.html

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    1. I say nationalize them! Then you can reduce the excess cost, the "dividend" payment to the wealthy.

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    2. Anything you do under a PAP government
      - You will end up paying more.

      You want to save money, you will have to vote out PAP.
      What part of LKY's statement don't you understand?

      “What’s wrong with collecting more money?”
      Lee Kuan Yew
      http://sgtalk.org/mybb/Thread-Ngiam-Tong-Dow-had-a-big-fight-with-Lee-Kuan-Yew-over-COE

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