Reform Party (RP) wants to “replace the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) deal of austerity for the ordinary Singaporean but opulent and in many cases secret salaries and riches for the PM and his wife, PAP Ministers and their spouses and their supporters,” the party’s “Covid Recovery Plan and Election Manifesto” released on Friday (26 June) stated.
Titled “Build Back Better, Fairer”, the party wants to capitalise on the opportunity to turn the negative of a pandemic into the positive of rebuilding Singapore for Singaporeans.
“We are facing an unprecedented global economic and health crisis the likes of which have not been seen in our lifetimes. Because of the severity of the economic crisis hundreds of thousands of ordinary hard-working Singaporeans face the risk of losing their jobs through no fault of their own. It is vital that after this pandemic is over we build a better and fairer society for Singaporeans,” it asserted.
The party particularly sounded out the sustainability of Singapore’s economy if she continued to “(over-rely) on global trade and the Government’s economic model of over-saving and running huge Budget and current account surpluses.”
“If our true reserves are at least $1.5 trillion (as we believe), then we can afford to spend perhaps 4% of that every year. The Norwegians do just that with the assets in their Pension Fund. That would mean an additional $60 billion of spending every year which is about what the Government is spending in this exceptional year on combating the economic effects of the pandemic,” it added.
RP commended the Government in “their efforts to protect Singaporeans’ jobs and livelihoods,” but said “it is still not enough.”
The release then moved on to laying out the specific policy proposals for the GE 2020:
- Suspension of GST for this year and next and then a review with a view to eliminating it on certain essential categories of spending like food, utilities and medicines.
- Unemployment benefit of up to six months based on 75% of last drawn salary with a cap of $2500 per month.
- Seniors’ benefit for over 65s of $500 per month
- Child benefit of $300 per child per month for those at or below 1.5 median incomes
- Universal health care
- Free university education for those who have served NS
- Minimum wage of $10 per hour which will ensure more jobs go to Singaporeans and better wages for foreign workers
- Employment pass minimum salary to be raised to at least $5,000 per month with a cap on total numbers. Additional tax for those who have not done NS.