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SDP calls on Government to raise wages, reduce rental, and suspend GST

The Independent logo The Independent 25/3/2020 Beatrice Del Rosario
a group of people posing for a photo © The Independent Singapore

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has issued a statement calling on the Government to implement specific measures in response to the effects of Covid-19 on the nation.

These SDP measures will allow Singaporeans the financial security and confidence to plan ahead and rebuild the economy….

Posted by Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) on Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The SDP on Tuesday (March 21) published a statement on its website stipulating specific measures it is urging the current administration to take in response to the Covid-19 situation in Singapore–including to raise wages, reduce rental fees, and to suspend the GST temporarily.

“The SDP calls for the wages to be raised for middle-and lower-income earners across professions and industries,” the SDP said, stressing that the same should be done for foreign workers in order to prevent the discrimination against Singaporeans requiring higher wages.

The party cited the approach of the PAP saying “Singaporeans’ wages have been suppressed for far too long with the PAP resorting to using cheap foreign labour to improve the profit-margins of companies, many of which are GLCs.” The party also pushed for the Government to ensure that Singaporean salaries match the cost of living in the nation.

With regard to rental fees, the SDP called for the Government to “reduce rent which it controls through government bodies like HDB, JTC, CapitaLand, Mapletree, and Surbana,” arguing that doing so would reduce the weight on businesses caused by increasing wages. In its statement, the SDP specifically mentioned SMEs.

“The Government is the biggest landlord and high rent is killing businesses especially SMEs,” the SDP said, asserting that the savings could then go to the increased wages of employees.

With regard to the GST, the SDP has called on the Government to temporarily waive the GST until the Covid-19 pandemic has subsided and Singapore has managed to stabilise its economy. The SDP also stressed the importance of lowering the GST from 7% to 5% when the pandemic has subsided, instead of raising it to 9%, a move the party called “economic suicide.”

“The move will only hurt spending and cause the economy to slump just when recovery needs to take place after the pandemic is over,” said the SDP.

Other than increasing wages, lowering rent, and suspending the GST, the SDP also urged the Government to “return CPF funds” and “introduce retrenchment insurance.”

With its position found on the initiative to give Singaporeans a sense of “financial security and confidence to plan ahead and rebuild the economy,” the SDP also cited the efforts of governments around the world to take care of their citizens, holding to the position that “We must do the same for our own people.”

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