Former PAP member and Nominated MP Calvin Cheng is back – this time with his take on why the Workers’ Party is running a deficit in AHPTEC. In a Facebook post, Cheng explained the rationale behind government grants to Town Councils, and the types of grants awarded. What’s your take on his post?
Been reading online articles that claim that PAP town councils only run a surplus because they have a much larger grant than AHPETC.
A lot of red herrings and misinformation:
1. Town council grants are not given out on a whim, nor by the number of people in the constituency as the articles claim.
They are given out according to a formula based on the number of 4-room and smaller HDB flats in the town council. The smaller the flat the larger the grant. The more small flats there are, the larger the overall grant.
That is, the poorer the constituency, the larger the grant.
This formula has not been changed since the WP took over Aljunied GRC and Punggol East SMC.
2. Based on the above formula, there are PAP constituencies that have a larger % of grant than the WP.
But there are also those that have a smaller %.
For example. MOS Desmond Lee, the target of these online articles, is from Jurong GRC and their grant is 21.8% of their income as opposed to AHPETC’s 23.3%.
3. Grants have two uses. One is for the operating income of a town council. The second is for town improvement works. The second kind goes straight into the town improvement and project fund and does not affect the overall deficit or surplus of a town council.
We thus only need to concern ourselves with the first type of grant which is based on the formula mentioned above.
4. Since grants are given according to the overall wealth of the people in a constituency, the important question is not whether a TC is in deficit before the grants but AFTER.
And AFTER the grant both Aljunied GRC and Punggol East SMC were not in deficit before the WP took over.
5. Finally, because the formula has not changed, the question is why AHPETC has gone into deficit after the WP took over.
Everything else is a red herring.
Former PAP Member and NMP