Other than the unpredictability of Covid-19, the Workers' Party's (WP) Secretary-General, Pritam Singh, said that the cost of living is likely to be a "major pressure point" for many Singaporean households in 2022.
According to Singh, those particularly affected would be from the low to middle-income households, especially those with both young children and aged parents to care for.
Singh made the remark in his New Year's Day message, posted on The Workers' Party's Facebook page and on its Telegram channel on Dec. 31.
WP "will track" govt's policies: Pritam Singh
In his message, he cited several increasing expenses have "hit the headlines" in recent months, including higher electricity prices, transport fares, A&E hospital charges, and rising medical insurance premiums.
In particular, the withdrawal of many electricity retailers from the Open Electricity Market has seen many Singaporeans hit with higher electricity bills, he said.
Singh also highlighted the issue of HDB BTO prices, and said they remain high for younger Singaporeans, "with resale flats even further out of reach for many."
"The Workers' Party will track what the Government does to support Singaporeans who need the most help and how the Government upgrades its legacy schemes for the circumstances of today and tomorrow, not yesterday," he wrote.
WP acts as a "balancing force" in Singapore's political system: Pritam Singh
The Leader of Opposition also highlighted that in his previous New Year's Day message, he said that WP will continue in its mission to build a moderate and fair party that seeks to provide a trusted alternative to voters, and act as a balancing force in Singapore's political system.
Rounding up the year, Singh listed several motions moved by WP Members of Parliament, including HDB reform and widening access to HDB rental flats, a role for wealth taxes in Singapore's fiscal mix, how to better support local hawkers, eliminating gender discrimination and protecting the environment.
"We have also championed policy ideas that are now being actively considered or implemented by the Government, such as anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, effective minimum wage laws and allowing the tudung to be worn in more public service settings," he added.
Extended bursary, subsidy schemes launched in 2022
In his New Year's Day message, Singh also announced that in 2022, WP is extending and launching new community schemes, even though they are not in government.
"In concert with the WP Community Fund (WPCF) — a registered charity — and a commercial partner, the WP launched a pilot bursary program targeted at selected primary school students in 2021 for residents of Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC," he said.
Singh added that the program will continue in 2022 and be extended to primary school students living in Sengkang GRC.
In another collaboration with the WPCF, a new pilot subsidy scheme aimed at seniors living alone and requiring handyman services will be launched in selected WP constituencies in 2022.
The scheme will be progressively extended to all WP constituencies.
"The road may be hard and unpredictable": WP
"As we welcome 2022, I wish to extend my respect and regard to all front-liners and healthcare workers for their tireless efforts in protecting Singapore from Covid-19 and its variants," Singh said.
He also extended his appreciation to all civil servants, town council officers and town council contractors for their work in looking after the well-being and needs of the residents living in Aljunied, Hougang and Sengkang.
"The WP will remain steadfast and serve Singapore and Singaporeans by playing our part towards the creation of a fairer and more democratic society based on justice and equality," he said.
"The road may be hard and unpredictable, but we take heart from our supporters, well-wishers and friends who walk with us, undaunted, through this journey," Singh added.
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