Workers' Party calls for support for sandwiched class amid rising cost of living in its Labour Day message

The party also thanked frontline workers, public officers, and caregivers for their work.

Zi Shan Kow | April 30, 2022, 09:56 PM

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The Workers' Party (WP) has released a Labour Day message ahead of May 1, calling for greater support for Singapore's sandwiched class as the cost of living rises.

Increased cost of living

In its message, WP expressed concerns that "rising prices will bite ever harder in 2022" now that the worst of the pandemic is hopefully over.

It also highlighted that Singaporeans, especially lower income workers, are struggling with the increased cost of living.

This stems from the higher prices of utilities, public transport, food and other essential items.

The party said that the sandwiched class deserves more support.

This is because they have to support their retired parents and school-going children even as "cost rises are eating into precious wage gains".

Alternatives to GST hike

WP also expressed concern that the government's planned GST hike will "exacerbate inflationary pressures".

The party reiterated that it cannot agree with the decision to raise GST and offered four alternatives levers for raising revenue that should be exhausted before turning to a GST hike:

  1. Adhering to the OECD’s proposed global minimum corporate tax rate
  2. Taxing wealth
  3. Increasing the reserves contribution
  4. Taxing externalities

These alternatives were previously raised in Parliament during the Budget 2022 debate.

Call for greater support for workforce

To improve outcomes for the workforce and strengthen safety nets, WP called for the introduction of a national minimum wage, anti-discrimination laws and a redundancy insurance scheme.

The government's recent announcements, namely requiring companies that hire foreign workers to pay local employees the Local Qualifying Salary of S$1,400 at the minimum and enshrining into law current workplace anti-discrimination guidelines, were noted to be well-received by WP.

WP wrapped up their Labour Day message by expressing gratitude to frontline workers and public officers for their work amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as caregivers, who are often under-appreciated.

Read the full message here:

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Top image via Pritam Singh/Facebook.