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Lim Tean criticizes Govt’s rejection of basic income report, urges Singaporeans to rethink election choices

Lim Tean, leader of Peoples Voice (PV), criticizes the government’s defensive response to the basic living income report, accusing it of avoiding reality.

He calls on citizens to assess affordability and choose MPs who can truly enhance their lives in the upcoming election.



SINGAPORE: A recently published report, “Minimum Income Standard 2023: Household Budgets in a Time of Rising Costs,” unveils figures detailing the necessary income households require to maintain a basic standard of living, using the Minimum Income Standard (MIS) method.

The newly released study, spearheaded by Dr Ng Kok Hoe of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) specifically focuses on working-age households in 2021 and presents the latest MIS budgets, adjusted for inflation from 2020 to 2022.

The report detailed that:

  • The “reasonable starting point” for a living wage in Singapore was S$2,906 a month.
  • A single parent with a child aged two to six required S$3,218 per month.
  • Partnered parents with two children, one aged between seven and 12 and the other between 13 and 18, required S$6,426 a month.
  • A single elderly individual required S$1,421 a month.
  • Budgets for both single and partnered parent households averaged around S$1,600 per member. Given recent price inflation, these figures have risen by up to 5% in the current report.

Singapore Govt challenges MIS 2023 report’s representation of basic needs

Regrettably, on Thursday (14 Sept), the Finance Ministry (MOF), Manpower Ministry (MOM), and Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) jointly issued a statement dismissing the idea suggested by the report, claiming that minimum household income requirements amid inflation “might not accurately reflect basic needs”.

Instead, they claimed that findings should be seen as “what individuals would like to have.”, and further defended their stances for the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) and other measures to uplift lower-wage workers.

The government argued that “a universal wage floor is not necessarily the best way” to ensure decent wages for lower-wage workers.

The government’s statement also questions the methodology of the Minimum Income Standards (MIS) report, highlighting limitations such as its reliance on respondent profiles and group dynamics.

“The MIS approach used is highly dependent on respondent profiles and on group dynamics. As the focus groups included higher-income participants, the conclusions may not be an accurate reflection of basic needs.”

The joint statement claimed that the MIS approach included discretionary expenditure items such as jewellery, perfumes, and overseas holidays.

Lim Tean slams Government’s response to basic living income report

In response to the government’s defensive reaction to the recent basic living income report, Lim Tean, leader of the alternative party Peoples Voice (PV), strongly criticizes the government’s apparent reluctance to confront reality, stating, “It has its head buried in the sand”.

He strongly questioned the government’s endorsement of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM) as a means to uplift the living standards of the less fortunate in Singapore, describing it as a misguided approach.

In a Facebook video on Friday (15 Sept), Lim Tean highlighted that it has become a global norm, especially in advanced and first-world countries, to establish a minimum wage, commonly referred to as a living wage.

“Everyone is entitled to a living wage, to have a decent life, It is no use boasting that you are one of the richest countries in the world that you have massive reserves, if your citizens cannot have a decent life with a decent living wage.”

Lim Tean cited his colleague, Leong Sze Hian’s calculations, which revealed a staggering 765,800 individuals in Singapore, including Permanent Residents and citizens, may not earn the recommended living wage of $2,906, as advised by the MIS report.

“If you take away the migrant workers or the foreign workers, and take away those who do not work, underage, are children you know are unemployed, and the figure is staggering, isn’t it?”

“You know you are looking at a very substantial percentage of the workforce that do not have sufficient income to meet basic needs, according to this report.”

He reiterated that the opposition parties, including the People’s Voice and the People’s Alliance, have always called for a minimum wage, a living wage which the government refuses to countenance.

Scepticism about the government’s ability to control rising costs

In a time of persistently high inflation, Lim Tean expressed skepticism about the government’s ability to control rising costs.

He cautioned against believing in predictions of imminent inflation reduction and lower interest rates below 2%, labeling them as unrealistic.

Lim Tean urged Singaporeans to assess their own affordability in these challenging times, especially with the impending GST increase.

He warned that a 1% rise in GST could lead to substantial hikes in everyday expenses, particularly food prices.

Lim Tean expressed concern that the PAP had become detached from the financial struggles of everyday Singaporeans, citing their high salaries and perceived insensitivity to the common citizen’s plight.

Lim Tean urges Singaporeans to rethink election choices

Highlighting the importance of the upcoming election, Lim Tean recommended that citizens seriously evaluate the affordability of their lives.

“If you ask yourself about affordability, you will realise that you have no choice, In the coming election, but to vote in a massive number of opposition Members of Parliament, So that they can make a difference.”

Lim Tean emphasized the need to move beyond the traditional notion of providing checks and balances and encouraged voters to consider who could genuinely improve their lives.

“To me, the choice is very simple. It is whether you decide to continue with a life, that is going to become more and more expensive: More expensive housing, higher cost of living, jobs not secure because of the massive influx of foreign workers,” he declared.

“Or you choose members of Parliament who have your interests at heart and who want to make your lives better.”

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70% pineapple lovers happy can already. Well done.

Good luck to Lim Tean …. going to jail soon.

Don’t be fooled over and over again.

mee siam mai hum tells you all sinkies don’t try to raid our reserves. Really?

Questions : Who are the ones who uses or raid our reserves? Didn’t MAS lost $30.8 billion and this are not from our reserves? Tan Mah Sick and Garment Linked companies didn’t use our reserves?
What do you think?

Kick out all bustards88 cum elections. Only way out.

The cost of living is 100% not coming down. Global warming increasing is going to increase food costs. The govt. still wants to increase population growth and build more housing. This is suicidal. All our land has to be used for food production. So we have to remove the one third majority of the PAP.

The only way to stop the paps pussyfooting around such a criteria issue is to vote out at least another 20 pap grcs/ single seats to wake them up. People, vote for opposition, even if opposition put up a monkey, please vote for the monkey than for those greedy and recalcitrant pap pigs. Give pap 5 years to repent of their sins, said LKY, remember?

Why would they agree when the pineapple and mini-stars sing the same song? $1000 salary can afford HDB flats.

Good luck to all next year when prices soar again cum GST 9%.