'Bread-and-butter issues' a concern for many
Tue, Feb 01, 2011
my paper

SINGAPOREANS were generally more satisfied with the quality of life here and had greater confidence in the country's future and economy last year than in the year before.

However, many expressed concerns over "bread-and-butter issues", such as the cost of living and employment opportunities for older workers.

These were the findings of a survey - commissioned last year by the Government's feedback unit, Reach - called the Reach Perception Survey 2010.

The study examined the satisfaction levels of Singaporeans on various aspects of their lives and with government policies.

A representative sample of 2,013 Singaporeans aged 16 and above were interviewed face-to-face between October and November last year.

The sample comprised 48.4 per cent males and 51.6 per cent females, and reflected the ethnic composition of Singapore.

The last perception survey was conducted in 2009, and Reach decided to conduct another survey last year to see if there was any significant shift in sentiments on key issues over the past year.

The findings showed that more than 90 per cent of respondents expressed great satisfaction with their overall quality and standard of living. This included factors such as their relationship with family members and friends, housing type and quality of living environment.

They were also satisfied with the standard of Singapore's education system and how the Government is promoting the family, arts and culture, volunteerism and charity.

Between 83 and 99 per cent of the respondents were also highly satisfied with the sense of community and nationhood, as were between 98 and 99 per cent with security and foreign relations.

Most indicators - such as the levels of confidence in Singapore's public administration and satisfaction with the way the country is run - showed statistically significant increases of between 1 and 12 per cent last year.

However, where "bread-andbutter issues" were concerned, about 34 per cent of Singaporeans were least satisfied when it came to "keeping the cost of living affordable".

The majority in general, and the needy in particular, also showed lower levels of satisfaction with regard to the affordability of housing.

The respondents were also less happy on issues such as the provision of job opportunities for older and retrenched workers, the Electronic Road Pricing system and the provision of affordable public transport.

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