SINGAPORE — The Budget 2023 will be delivered by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong in Parliament today at 3.30 pm.

Ahead of the announcement of the budget, perhaps it is good to recap what the Workers’ Party (WP) have put forth so far for policy suggestions.

1. Pause the planned GST hike from 8 per cent to 9 per cent and temporarily exempt the Goods & Service Tax (GST) hike on essential items

Inflation is high and costs have been rising. The Workers’ Party has taken to heart the feedback shared with us from constituents and Singaporeans. There is no worse time to raise the GST than this present moment when ordinary families are struggling to make ends meet.

2. Introduce the WP’s Redundancy Insurance scheme

The average Singaporean worker — especially the most vulnerable workers — must be protected by providing a safety net for workers suddenly made redundant. WP says that its redundancy insurance proposal, raised in Parliament in 2017, is a responsible way to do this.

3. Strengthen the Singapore dollar

This will reduce the cost of imported goods. Since so much of what Singaporeans consume is imported, a strong Singdollar can help ease inflation.

4. Create a viable and expanded public rental scheme

Housing expenditure is a major cost for many Singaporeans. The importance of supporting diverse housing needs must be recognised by significantly increasing the stock of HDB flats available for rental, as a complementary alternative to home ownership.

5. Introduce anti-discrimination legislation

The proposed legislation must provide stringent penalties against employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sexuality and age. Middle-aged to older workers are particularly vulnerable, and they ought to be protected.

6. Introduce a national minimum wage

While the expanded Progressive Wage Model and changes to the ‘local qualifying salary’ have raised wages for most lower-wage workers, WP maintains its call for a national minimum wage across the board.

7. Introduce a tax on net wealth

A tax of 0.5 per cent to 2 per cent on net wealth in excess of $10 million is needed to address inequality, add to state revenue and re-calibrate the relationship between labour and capital in Singapore’s economy.

8. Form an Office of the Ombudsmen

Ordinary citizens of all backgrounds would be able to lodge concerns of potential misconduct by public servants with the State Ombudsman, who would investigate these claims impartially.

9. Review the Silver Support quantum of welfare support

WP states that Singaporeans who have contributed the best decades of their life to Singapore’s economy must be able to live out their lives in dignity. Higher quantums could be disbursed, conditional on their commitments to positive behaviours such as going for health screenings.

10. Develop a roadmap for the electrification of public and private transportation

WP called on Parliament to acknowledge a climate emergency in 2021. To encourage a Green transition, WP states that Singapore must accelerate the electrification of transport and accelerate the deployment of adequate charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.


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