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National Day Rally focuses on ageing well, keeping housing affordable with new approach

AGEING and housing were the central themes of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech on Sunday (Aug 20), in which he announced Central Provident Fund (CPF) bonuses for “young seniors” and a new way of classifying public flats.

To keep housing affordable with fair access, Build-to-Order (BTO) projects will be classified not by estate but “location attributes”, with a new category that has larger subsidies but tighter resale conditions.

Housing and retirement adequacy were among the top concerns in the fourth generation (4G) leaders’ Forward Singapore feedback exercise, which will wrap up soon, noted PM Lee.

The findings, to be published later this year, “will be a compass to help Singapore navigate through the stormy seas”, he said.

He reiterated the mounting pressures that the country faces: rising geopolitical tensions, an increasingly fragmented global economic order, and climate change.

Yet he reassured Singaporeans that the Republic is keeping up economically, with positive growth expected this year: “Hopefully, we will avoid a recession.” Inflation is also coming down, though it “will probably stay higher than what we were used to”.


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