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Pritam Singh: PAP Govt adopts WP proposals in Budget 2024

In the Budget debate, Pritam Singh noted PAP’s adoption of WP proposals in Budget 2024. He urged PAP to be open and inclusive, accommodating diverse views from Singaporeans for the realization of Forward Singapore’s goals.



SINGAPORE: Pritam Singh, the Leader of the Opposition highlighted the Workers’ Party’s contribution to Budget 2024, mentioning that some of their proposals, including a temporary financial support scheme for workers and anti-discrimination legislation, have been accepted by the People’s Action Party (PAP) government.

Participating in the Budget 2024 Debate on Monday (26 February), Mr Singh acknowledged that Budget 2024, in its broad strokes, aligns with the direction the government intends to take for Forward Singapore, focusing on goals such as a strong economy, a fairer society, and a deeper sense of unity.

Despite the broad alignment, Mr Singh emphasized that the real challenge for the PAP is to be open and accommodate diverse views from Singaporeans on how to achieve the goals set by Forward Singapore.

“No doubt, PAP has asked for diverse views by demanding that the Opposition come up with alternative proposals, although one suspects they do so rhetorically. ”

“WP has responded sincerely and we have not been short of proposals that have ultimately been accepted by the Government in some shape or form, albeit after initial and sometimes significant resistance.”

Pritam Singh calls for transparency in Government data sharing

Mr Singh, who is also the WP Secretary-General, presented five points forming the basis of his response to the Budget, including the need for the government to provide more information for active participation in policy discussions, addressing the growing mismatch between aspirations and reality, improving retirement adequacy, encouraging more employer support for employees, and working towards strengthening unity among Singaporeans in an uncertain world.

Advocating for greater transparency, Mr Singh urged the PAP government to provide crucial information for Singaporeans to actively participate in policy discussions.

He cited instances of insufficient information, such as undisclosed carbon tax estimates and a lack of updates on a S$4.5 billion industry transformation roadmap from 2016.

He further raised concerns about the potential impact of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Base Erosion and Profit Shifting regime (BEPS) on Singapore’s corporate income tax and the possibility of multinational enterprises leaving the country.

He reiterated the WP’s call for the establishment of a Parliamentary Budget Office, emphasizing the importance of such institutions in tracking the effectiveness of government policies and expenditure outcomes.

He highlighted the desire of Singaporeans, both inside and outside the House, to analyze and understand the government’s actions in greater detail.

He argued that calls for information are not red herrings but essential for shaping a political environment fit for Singapore’s purposes.

He further requested that the ruling party explain how the government plans to deploy S$40 billion for Forward Singapore policies.

Adequacy for Singaporeans in retirement

Speaking on retirement adequacy, he highlighted HDB affordability continues to remain an ongoing concern in the minds of many Singaporeans and now is crucial to closely examine how much CPF money should be set aside for housing.

He pointed out that the various components of the Majulah Package, including the annual earn and save bonus, one-time retirement savings bonus, and one-time MediSave bonus, for Singaporeans born between 1960 and 1973, all involved CPF top-ups. This, according to him, indicates that the sufficiency of CPF balances for retirement is a serious and ongoing concern.

He cautioned that any move to reduce CPF funds for housing in favour of retirement adequacy may backfire if HDB prices continue to rise.

“The Government may then have to commit itself to making HDB flats even more affordable by increasing subsidies further. Make no mistake, direct subsidies for HDB flat purchases do not make HDB flats cheaper. They merely transfer the cost to current taxpayers.”

Crucial for employers to show more support to employees

Mr Singh also stressed the importance of employers showing more support for employees, not just in terms of wages but also through initiatives that enhance workplace culture, training, and career development.

Mr Singh mentioned that business groups have expressed concerns about the new Local Qualifying Salary cap of $1,600, which is considered as the de facto minimum wage. He suggested that stronger support for financially vulnerable workers is essential for the future social compact.

Mr Singh asserted that when the economy grows or when support measures are extended to companies, workers must also benefit.

“But consumers too, must be prepared to pay more for goods and services and it cannot solely be left to businesses to absorb the additional cost of wages.”

Mr Singh acknowledged that some employers have done well by implementing FWAs, but he emphasized the need to improve workplace culture, change attitudes towards skills upgrading and training, and align HR policies with national imperatives.

Promoting responsible dialogue

Mr Singh asserted that the WP, as an opposition party, would not self-censure but commit to bringing up matters responsibly.

“Once mistrust between communities take root, we will not know what hit us.”

Mr Singh highlighted the acute threat of constant information operations by state and non-state actors, particularly in multicultural societies. He expressed concern that Singapore’s unity as a multiracial and multi-religious society might be severely tested in the future.

He acknowledged the reality of online misinformation and foreign interference, emphasizing the potential damage to Singapore.

While advocating for passionate expression of views, he urged caution against denigrating other groups and emphasized the importance of kindness and empathy in the multiracial Singapore spirit.

He acknowledged that the world is experiencing rising political polarization and disenfranchisement due to economic displacement, and stressed the need for all Singaporeans, regardless of political persuasion, to be each other’s keepers in order to maintain unity and face the challenges ahead.

He pointed out potential challenges in the context of immigration and integration. While earlier generations of immigrants had little choice but to integrate, current immigrants, with easier connectivity to their countries of birth, may face difficulties integrating into Singapore society.

“Better integration between the races and communities must be an important feature of the new social compact. We ignore this social objective at our peril, given how immigration is a permanent feature of Singapore’s society.”

In light of a potentially more volatile outlook, Singh emphasized the importance of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and Home Team, as well as the significance of National Service.

He called for full support for the men and women in uniform, acknowledging that security agencies may face challenges beyond kinetic warfare.


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So elite wanna used lower end as scapegoats … So now every countries just use one Sgrean as scapegoats against the PAP supposed to be servicing the ppl … Shoot then … Horrible Leadership yet do not want to admit. Step down the whole administration!!! Not a single one speak up when you see something is wrong!!!!

PAPs pay themselves mil$salaries but are bereaved of ideas and plans to bring OUR SG forward..
The opp party members are only earning a pittance compared to these PAP ministars, but were scolded by evil Loong to come up with constructive ideas and proposals in parliament…
But when they do, most times they are ridiculed…
So Mr PS, did PAP give your party the due credit for adopting your ideas..?

Dun need to send me adverts. I dun need it! I need those actors and actresses plus overlords playing in school to own up. They created all these becos they cannot be honest, no maturity to own up. Keep dragging my family as a shield for the shit they created … And ask more to join in cos quantity is everything when comes to bullying!!!

Only PAPs and theirs benefit from SG’s progress .
Very little flows down to the citzenry..oh yes they make a show of the give outs ..but its intentional ..theyre making a certain portion of the ppl dependent on the the hopes of these ppl being eternally grateful & give them the votes to keep them in power .its worked so far…
Many countries use this political tactic..

So three enough to build your Maid Monopoly?!? No? PSP high class kinky maids, PAP normal maid, WP can be abuse maids becos not so educated or trained. No??? Three Bare Bears?!?

The point is the Reesah issue plus plus has already created the mistrust. (Playing political scapegoating game) And the WP paralleling the affairs issues have not regain any trust either. (One step behind PAP)

While PSP is one step ahead PAP.

Is my observation Wrong?!?

Now ding dong PSP and WP plus PAP. Loong PAP and PSP and WP foreign Interference???No?!?

Why GOVT isn’t listening?!? Who wants to TOP up in the CPF system when you can’t withdraw But the Govt wanna set the terms for withdrawal?!? WHO?!?