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A survey by The Week in Asia, a publication by the South China Morning, shows four out of five Singaporeans interviewed saying their pessimism boiled down to salaries not matching up to costs and a sense that wages were stagnant.

A delivery guy who did not complete his secondary school and is using an e-scooter for deliveries said Singapore is a very rich country, “but it’s progressing way too fast, not everyone can catch up with the progression.”

A degree holder living with her parents and writing for a magazine said she feels the pinch, arguing that the cost of living is high and her pay seems stagnant.

Earning less than S$3,000 a month, she is paying off a student loan of S$28,700 after her four-year bachelor of arts in a literature course. She says she fees ‘stifled’and wishes her industry could pay her more because of the “sheer amount of work”.

For a middle-aged Singaporean who has vocational training from the Institute of Technical Education who is currently unemployed, it is all about survival.

The single mother has four children aged from three to 10 years old and is living with her sister and brother. The brother has health and disability issues and they live in a three-room flat that is fully paid for.

Their only source of income for the entire family is S$1,050 a month from her brother’s disability welfare and her sister’s Central Provident Fund withdrawals.

Some say it is because of the inevitable result of a maturing economy and, “The era of miracle growth is over, and the widespread universal policies of mass housing and mass education in the past have given way to greater stratification.”

Faultlines in Singapore

Singapore is the richest country in the region, yet many Singapore citizens feel stuck in their social classes, according to a survey of 4,015 people aged 18 and above. The survey was conducted between August 2018 and January this year by the Institute of Policy Studies at the National University of Singapore, a state-backed research organisation.

Those surveyed were asked if they felt their financial status would improve in a decade’s time.

More than five in 10 people said they would experience negligible financial mobility.

The survey shows only 44 per cent of those with a degree were hopeful of upward mobility in 10 years’ time.

The figure falls to 40.6 per cent for Singaporeans with vocational training or a polytechnic diploma.

For those with a secondary school education or below, such as 32-year-old food deliveryman Alroy Ho, only 23.8 per cent expect to do better in the future, with 10.6 per cent thinking they are going to be worse off. -/TISG

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