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Mon, Jul 12, 2010
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Entrance levies to casinos to be managed by Tote Board

By RACHEL CHAN

ALL entrance levies to both casinos will be managed by the Singapore Totalisator Board, revealed Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister of Finance and Transport, yesterday.

This means that the $70 million collected as of May 10 will go to the Tote Board, which, at the moment, is recycling the money back into the community, she said.

At a dialogue session held in Chu Yen Park, a resident asked about the Government's plans for the casinos' entrance levies collected from Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

Mrs Lim replied that the money is being channelled to "the different community projects to support arts, sports (and) health care".

"So if we have more money coming through, more money would be available for all these different projects," she said.

In addition to transport issues, and topics such as the hiring of foreign medical talent and re-employment of elderly workers, questions about the income ceiling for first-time buyers of Housing Board flats and the recent flash floods were also addressed.

To a resident's suggestion to exempt first-time HDB flat-buyers from the $8,000 income-ceiling requirement, Mrs Lim said that the ceiling was defined such that it would benefit eight out of 10 households here.

The higher the ceiling, the lower the subsidy each household would get, she pointed out.

An executive-condominium unit, however, would be more suitable for higher wage earners as the income-ceiling requirement is $10,000, she said.

On another resident's question about the capability of Singapore's drainage system in coping with floods, Mrs Lim said it is sound but must be cleared of foliage regularly to prevent blockage.

"Should you detect potential areas that might flood, and you don't think that the PUB is aware of it, then please let your Member of Parliament know.

"I'm sure PUB will be happy to receive the feedback as well," she said.


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