SDP proposes ‘S’poreans First’ policy for hiring & retrenchment, S$7 per hour minimum wage

It also says ministerial and civil servant salaries and bonuses should be pegged to real income growth and lowest earners.

Sulaiman Daud | June 9, 10:15 am


The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is pushing a “Singaporeans First” set of employment and immigration policies for Singapore’s population.

Unveiled on June 8 is the fourth in a series of policy proposals the opposition party has been unveiling in a bid to establish credibility since starting their campaign in February this year for the next general election — since March, they have touched on cost of living, health insurance and housing.

Vet foreign workers on points-based system

One of the proposals is to vet prospective foreign workers according to a points-based system, called TalentTrack.

For example, a Bachelor’s Degree would be worth some points, while having a dependent parent would result in a penalty.

If that worker obtains a minimum number of points, they would qualify to work in Singapore.

Workers will also have to demonstrate that they possess the skills they claim, by taking tests implemented by a new statutory board they plan to call the Council for Skills Evaluation.

Employers can then hire a worker from this pool of qualified applicants — provided they can demonstrate that no Singaporean can do the job or wants the job.

“This will prevent firms hiring foreigners based solely on their ability to accept lower wages,” the party said.

Retrench foreigners first and introduce minimum wage

The SDP also proposed a rule that mandates employers to retrench non-Singaporeans before Singaporean workers, given similar work performance.

The TalentTrack scheme and the retrenchment rule both fall under the SDP’s ‘Singaporeans First’ policy.

Also under this policy, the SDP will institute a minimum wage law of S$7 per hour.

It also says that for the same type of work done, locals and foreigners should earn the same pay, with employers being taxed the equivalent of the top rate of employer CPF contribution in lieu of a foreign worker levy.

Not GDP but GPI

The SDP also proposed doing away with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an index for the economy, and to replace it with the Genuine Progression Index (GPI).

GPI incorporates aspects of GDP, but also adds factors like pollution, stress, crime, and ‘broken families’ brought about by economic activity.

The SDP therefore proposes measuring four indicators:

  • Social
  • Environmental
  • Economic
  • Security

These, the party says, will put forward a clearer picture of Singapore’s economy and society.

Revamp Minister pay formula and KPIs for civil servants

The SDP also proposed changing the formula used to calculate ministerial pay.

It criticised the scheme of linking ministerial pay to GDP growth, as they claimed GDP growth could be easily manipulated by sharply increasing the supply of labour, for instance.

Instead, they proposed that ministerial pay be pegged to the bottom 20 per cent of income earners in Singapore.

Something similar should be implemented for senior civil servants too, they argue, and recommend linking their performance bonuses to indexes such as average real income growth.

SDP chief Chee Soon Juan shared on his Facebook page, also on June 8, that the policy will reform the current immigration system that “allows too many foreigners” into Singapore.

You can read the SDP’s policy proposals in full for yourself at this link.

Related stories:

SDP proposes abolishing Medishield, Medisave & Medifund for single-payer system

SDP proposes to cut ministerial salaries, taxing top 1% more & returning CPF in full

Top image from SDP.

About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve and his favourite person is Jürgen Klopp. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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