Does the Workers’ Party consider public housing affordable or not?
The party is now caught in a little dilemma following the exchange in parliament on Wed (19 Apr) between PAP MP Saktiandi Supaat and WP’s MP for Sengkang GRC Louis Chua.
Saktiandi called out Chua, a Credit Suisse research analyst, for statements made in the company’s 58-page report, titled Singapore Property Sector 2023 Outlook: A beacon of light comes into view.
The Credit Suisse report made the point that affordability continues to be healthy for the average household, given wage growth momentum amid a tight labour market.
One of the lines in the report states:
“Contrary to the private market, we find a more favourable and resilient situation in (the) public housing market. This is largely attributed to the rise in average income in relation to the price of a flat.”
During the debate on public housing earlier this year, the WP fiercely championed the need for stronger measures to cool prices in the public housing market, with Chua being a vocal advocate.
As such, questions have been raised about whether his stance differs from that of the WP, or whether he is playing both sides against the middle.
Chua has responded by saying that the report was published for institutional investors for investment purposes, without going into detail to address the part about public housing affordability laid out in the report.
He said that while high prices may benefit investors, it may not be favourable from a national interest perspective.
Chua added that he has been “consistent” in framing the public housing issue as one of an imbalance between demand and supply.