Saturday, April 6, 2013

Car loans, HDB flat prices to be raised in Parliament

The Straits Times  |  06 Apr 2013 11:40 PM

Car loans and HDB flat prices are among the hot button issues that will be raised on Monday at the first Parliament sitting after last month's Budget debate.

Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten) will fire the first salvo by asking the Monetary Authority of Singapore when it will review its policy to restrict car loans.

Mr Lim hopes the review will "ensure that Singaporeans will have reasonable opportunities to purchase a car with adequate financing".

He thinks the Feb 26th move that capped car loans at 50 to 60 per cent of the purchase price is "over-drastic" and has not done much to ease the high premiums of Certificates of Entitlement.

People also think the change will benefit the well-off and is unfair, said Mr Lim.

He told The Straits Times yesterday, referring to MAS: "If they are prepared to review it now, I would be happier."

Mr Png Eng Huat (Hougang) wants to know the result of another policy, which is to keep new HDB flats affordable.

He is asking Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan to provide the average price ranges for new flats before and after the Housing Board de-linked prices of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats from those of resale flats.

Mr Khaw had said that since he took over the housing portfolio in 2011, he has varied the discounts for first-time buyers to keep prices steady.

MPs Foo Mee Har (West Coast GRC) and Lee Bee Wah (Nee Soon GRC) want to know the impact of the tightened foreign worker policies on the completion and costs of BTO projects, while Mr Baey Yam Keng (Tampines GRC) is seeking an update on a salary review of officers in the elite Administrative Service.

Four Bills are due for a second reading, including one for new parenthood measures such as one week of paid paternity leave.

Other Bills aim to tighten regulation of housing developers and financial holding companies, and strengthen fire-safety measures.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
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