Ho, Ho, Ho

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, what with all the goodies that were handed out last week to the old, the young, the poor, the sick, the under-paid, the under-educated and the over-worked in the 2006 Singapore budget. Problem is, this isn’t December–it’s February. All we can say is that it’s starting to sound a lot like election season, with bureaucratic cheer being spread among a plump electorate to get everyone in a nice, rosy mood. We’re not complaining, mind you—everybody likes a freebie. And with the budget showing surpluses, hey, why not share the wealth? In fact, we can suggest a few more rewards which we hope will be considered for next year’s budget.Buffet Bonus. A bonus for all the cooks and waiters who keep our buffets bursting at the seams. There would be special health care accounts for those having to endure irate diners, sharp-elbowed aunties, and the stampede out the door once the first chafing tray is cleared.Bouncer Grant. Designed to provide training for the new crop of bouncers and door bitches who guard the sacred portals of our top nightspots. Studies show that bouncers can cut waiting times in half once they are trained to properly tell this season’s Prada from last, real fur from faux, hetros from metros, implants from endowments, and Dolce from Gabbana.Opposition Opportunity Fund. Since Singapore is trying to encourage independent opinions and dissenting voices these days (well, as long as you don’t dissent too much), why not offer a bonus for anyone willing to join an opposition party? This would help offset the costs of libel cases and bankruptcy proceedings, not to mention allthe umbrellas needed for standing out in the hot sun and pouring rain while trying tosell books.Foreign Talent Rebate. A series of tax incentives offered to companies who reduce housing allowances, discourage the use of teak furniture, and outlaw ethnic handbags.Blogger Workfare Program. Encourages bloggers to get real, get a job, and get a life. The program starts by encouraging bloggers to blog about their new employment, their colleagues and the people they meet every day. Afterwards they are forced to read what they have written. They graduate from the program as soon as they realize their life is as boring as everyone else’s.