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Khaw insists that an income earner paid S$1,000 can own a flat

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has reassured the public that anyone with an income of at least S$1,000 can indeed afford a HDB flat.

He said this after a heated exchange following Workers' Party NCMP Gerald Giam's observation that many younger low-income Singaporeans find it difficult to acquire a house of their own. In response, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, noted that 98 percent of 35-year old Singaporeans who earn at least S$1,000 can afford to buy flats.

"This piece of comment caused a stir precisely because it sounded so incredible," said Mr Khaw, who also explained that Mr Tharman was referring to a new two-room flat.

Mr Khaw emphasised that new two-room units are priced at around S$100,000 for first-timers, and that housing grants of up to S$60,000 may also lower the cost.

"So the net selling price to him is about S$40,000, and the monthly mortgage payment of such an HDB loan can be fully recovered from his Central Provident Fund contribution," he noted.

Furthermore, most two-room applicants earn above the income ceiling. Based on recent Build-to-Order (BTO) launches, their average income was at S$1,400.

Josephine Teo, Minister of State for Finance, further highlighted that it is indeed possible for anyone who earns S$1,000 monthly to acquire a two-room flat, with grants and Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions.

From his end, Lawrence Wong, Minister of State for Defence and Education, posted on Facebook that the public can be rest assured that the government will continue to help low-income families.

In another Facebook post, Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister of State for Manpower and National Development said, "Way too much angst being generated over a good thing... do share this please," adding links to information on grants given by the government.

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