According to our calculations, your citizenship is worth $4,511 more than permanent residents per year. For that, you have to serve NS if you are male, and watch some of your PR friends sell their HDBs for a good profit and then return to their (sometimes) cheaper home countries to enjoy retirement.
As a Singapore citizen, here’s what you enjoy (reference: ST, 24 Oct 2009 online link):
- Child birth. If you stay in a Class B2+ ward, you pay $475. For PR, it’s $506, which is $31 more. The average Singapore woman has about 1 child and will thus get the $10,000 baby bonus (we ignore the fact that she will have to split the bonus with her husband). Spread over 20 years of providing for the child, the baby bonus amounts to $500 per year. Total child birth benefit: $31 + $500 = $531/yr.
- Childcare subsidy. Singaporean working mum gets a $300/mth subsidy while PRs get nothing. Total childcare benefit: $3,600/yr.
- School fees. PRs pay $2,884 more than Singaporeans per child for the 16 years of education all the way to university. This is $180/yr.
- Marriage fees. Insignificant.
- Housing. Though PRs are not eligible to buy new flats, many Singaporeans also do not buy new flats. Since both citizens and PRs are eligible to buy resale flats, for ease of comparison, we will treat housing benefit as insignificant. [Added 1 Nov: Married citizens enjoy a $30k-$40k grant, while singles can get $11k-$20k. Spread over the long term of owning a home, say over 30 years, this is about $666/yr per person in addition to the $4,511 calculated previously, making a total of $5,177/yr. Thanks to the reader who highlighted this.]
- Health subsidies. Citizens get about 10% more subsidy than PRs. Assuming that an average citizen spends $20k over 10 years, this 10% difference amounts to $200/yr.
Grand total: $4,511 per year. Note that if you’re single, it would be just $200 per year.
No wonder the ST reporter Zakir Hussain said “the distinctions between citizens and PRs could not have been clearer.”
Do you think your citizenship should be worth a lot more?