Workers’ Party Highlights Plight Of Sandwiched Class In Labour Day Message, Renews Call For Minimum Wage

The Workers’ Party Highlights Need For Minimum Wage In Labour Day Message 

The Labour Day long weekend gives us the perfect opportunity to take a well-deserved break and refresh our mindsets while reflecting on what we have achieved of late.

It is also usually when certain segments of society give thanks to and celebrate the achievements of workers. Likewise, The Workers’ Party (WP) posted their Labour Day Message on Facebook, noting Singapore’s third Labour Day in the Covid-19 era.

Source: The Workers’ Party on Facebook

WP reiterated the party’s General Election 2020 manifesto and stressed that the sandwiched class needs more support. Hence, they cannot agree with the Government’s decision to raise the GST next year.

More support needed for lower-income & sandwiched classes

Although WP saluted Singaporeans for their resilience in adapting to the pandemic for two-and-a-half years, they noted that rising prices would continue to be a big challenge. In fact, they are likely to “bite ever harder” in 2022, especially for the lower-income workers.

These workers have to contend with the higher cost of living brought about by the higher prices of utilities, public transport, food and other essential items.

Source: Facebook

The sandwiched class also faces similar challenges — rising costs “eating into precious wage gains” even as they struggle to support retired parents and school-going children. Hence, they also need more support.

Workers’ Party disagrees with GST increase, suggests other ways 

In the post, WP said they were concerned that the Government’s planned GST hike will worsen pressures faced due to the current inflation. As such, they cannot agree with the Government’s decision to raise the GST.

In fact, the post mentioned that WP had proposed four alternative ways to raise revenue:

  • adhering to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)’s proposed global minimum corporate tax rate
  • taxing wealth
  • increasing the reserves contribution
  • taxing externalities.

According to WP, each lever on its own can generate more than what a 2% GST hike will. These avenues should be exhausted before raising the GST.

Workers’ Party reiterates GE2020 manifesto 

WP also repeated their General Election 2020 manifesto, which consists of the introduction of a national minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws, and a redundancy insurance scheme.

They believe the manifesto will improve outcomes for our workforce and strengthen safety nets.

The Government announced in 2021 that companies that hire foreign workers are required to pay all their local employees at least the local qualifying salary of S$1,400. Workplace anti-discrimination guidelines will also be enshrined into the law. To this, WP said they were glad.

WP ended the post by thanking the frontline workers who worked tirelessly during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to whom Singaporeans owe a debt of gratitude. They also expressed appreciation to public officers who helped to execute new policies and enforce new measures to enable Singaporeans to tide over the pandemic.

Lastly, they thanked “all caregivers who have to juggle their work with caring for family members at home”. WP termed them “essential workers”, although they are unpaid and often under-appreciated, and thanked them for their “loving toil and sacrifice”.

Source: Facebook

WP encouraged all Singaporeans to take heart as we move forward together in these uncertain times.

Always good to look ahead 

With all the headwinds that are affecting the global economic climate, WP’s Labour Day message serves as a timely reminder that we should be grateful for what we have while preparing ourselves to meet more challenges in the road ahead.

We should take heart in the progress we have made in our fight against Covid-19, yet be aware that there will be roadblocks lying ahead.

While it remains to be seen if WP can eventually make headway in the call for a minimum wage, as well as more support for the lower-income and sandwiched classes, we hope they can continue to champion the causes of Singaporeans young and old.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook

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