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People's Action Party (PAP)Singapore First (SingFirst)Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA)Worker's Party (WP)Singapore Democratic Party (SDP)Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)National Solidarity Party (NSP)Reform Party (RP)Singapore People's Party (SPP)People's Power Party (PPP)
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Economic growth should be pursued as the number one priority.Economic growth remains important. Those who say that it is unimportant are gravely mistaken. Growth is not the be-all and end-all, but it is the only way for us to create good jobs for all and earn a good living, so that as a nation we can invest in our people and our future. It opens opportunities that give us a sense of hope, and the confidence that our lives can improve with each passing year.”

2015 New Year Message by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Prime Minister's Office. Retrieved from http://www.pmo.gov.sg/mediacentre/2015-new-year-message-prime-minister-lee-hsien-loong
People are important. They are the soul of a nation. For the past 50 years, Singaporeans have become secondary to the relentless pursuit of economic growth. The nation has lost its soul. We need a new vision that puts Singaporeans at the heart of the nation. The vision of a fair society with strong families and a confident people with high self-esteem. The vision of SingFirst.

...
SingFirst will remake society with policies that turn us into masters, not slaves, of economic growth. We will always put the interests and well-being of people first before the pursuit of economic growth. We will create a fair society with new policies to rejuvenate the economy and generate good jobs that pay fair living wages. At the same time, we will strengthen welfare services comprehensively and significantly in healthcare, education, housing and transport. Our current tax regime is highly regressive with low corporate and personal income taxes on the one hand, and high indirect taxes on the other. A progressive tax system is more equitable and fair as it will allow the better off to repay, through higher taxes, benefits received from others. However we do not envisage any need for it in at least the next ten years even when we increase social spending substantially. Instead we will make our tax system less regressive by removing the Goods and Services Tax. The GST imposes an unfair burden on middle and lower income Singaporeans as it raises their basic cost of living significantly. We do not see the need to impose new taxes in other areas to make up for the loss of the GST revenue.

SingFirst. Manifesto in English. Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/manifesto-in-english/
The Population White Paper projected a population of 6.5 to 6.9 million by year 2030. While we understand that the purpose is to boost economic growth of the country, could it be possible that the social and safety aspects are being severely compromised? Also, from an infrastructure point of view, is the Government well-prepared to accommodate this sharp increase in population?

Singapore Democratic Alliance.
SDA’s General Election 2015 MANIFESTO. Retrieved from http://singaporedemocraticalliance.sg/sdas-general-election-2015-manifesto/
Despite record economic growth in 2010, and a burgeoning number of millionaires, many Singaporean workers continue to experience low wages, long working hours by multiple family members to maintain living standards, job insecurity and unrelenting price increases.

The PAP government’s preoccupation with economic growth has led to the opening of the floodgates to foreign workers to boost growth through labour inputs. This has suppressed low-income Singaporean workers’ wages, heightened job insecurity and caused overcrowding in land-scarce Singapore. The liberal foreign labour policy has also come at the price of lagging productivity, forcing low-wage workers to depend on government hand-outs to subsist.

Economic growth is meaningful only if the fruits of growth are equitably distributed; otherwise, we risk becoming an ever more divided and polarised society.

While a free market economy has its benefits, the consequential effect is income disparity. Those with economic power tend to congregate with those with political power resulting in a power elite network. The consequence of such a structure could result in imbalance in policy formulation.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf
Singapore’s economy has registered dramatic growth in the last half century. This expansion has, however, come at a cost. It has been driven by the PAP which pays scant regard to democracy and the rights of Singaporeans. Because of this, problems have been emerging.

Income inequality, a dispirited workforce, the absence of an entrepreneurial class, our reputation as a tax haven, and the unhappiness of the local populace with the influx of foreign labour have raised questions about the sustainability of the country’s current economic model.

...

We propose an alternative indicator of economic progress. The PAP relies on GDP growth as a measure of society’s wellness. The problem is that GDP is a misleading indicator that does not take into account the cost (social, environmental and financial) of production. With an alternative index, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), that comprehensively measures the cost and benefit of economic growth, we can better gauge the efficacy of our policies. Under our programme, the quality of life and overall happiness of our citizens will be the guiding factor for economic growth.

Singapore Democratic Party. A NEW ECONOMIC VISION: TOWARDS INNOVATION, EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND COMPASSION. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/publ/sdp_39_s_alternatives/economy/a_new_economic_vision_towards_innovation_equal_opportunity_and_compassion/25-1-0-1503
The DPP thanks the Government for the work done for the Whitepaper.

The Whiter Paper outlines Population Growth projected to 2030. The DPP feels that the study merits further detail study regarding the following:

i) The population growth is assumed to be necessary for economic growth
ii) White paper did not state in detail the assumptions (labour productivity, etc)
iii) White paper does not explain the economic growth attainable while keeping population at current numbers
iv) Our projection shows that we are a minority in our country by 2026,

i) There are successful economies like Scandinavia where they are able to gear up their economies at 5.5 million average. There are financial centres like Luxembourg at 800,000 pop while maintaining lead position as a financial centre as well as having pole position for highest per capita income . So far with rapid population growth last few years , we mange to garner 2 to 3 % growth only. Is quantity the only way or we should seriously consider quality ?

Democratic Progressive Party. DPP Statement on Population White Paper. Retrieved from http://www.dpp.sg/dpp-statement-on-population-white-paper/
"PAP's population plan places at its core immediate economic growth. It continues to believe that economic growth, however derived, will lead to better lives for the people. Their proposal is a continuation of current policies, but with added promises that infrastructure will be built up quickly to accomodate the larger population, one that grows at about 94,000 per year on average ... NSP would like to offer Singaporeans an alternative plan, one which is more sustainable, focusing more on wage growth and overall quality of life rather than immediate economic growth."

Executive Summary of NSP's Population Plan for Singapore. National Solidarity Party. https://www.scribd.com/doc/123301619/Executive-Summary-of-NSP-s-Population-Plan-for-Singapore
Our GDP per capita may look impressive but it is boosted by the huge number of cheap foreign workers without dependents that the PAP has brought in and by the much longer hours that Singaporeans work than their European or US counterparts. GDP per hour worked is a better measure and here Singapore ranks near the bottom of advanced countries, let alone the top cities within those countries. GDP also includes the share of income going to profits, most of which go to the PAP Government or to foreign MNCs. Our income distribution is one of the most unequal in the world. Properly measured the median Singaporean is no better off than his counterpart in Kuala Lumpur and poorer than similar workers in Seoul, Hong Kong or Taipei. We lag well behind the top European or US cities.

---

Already, without a single seat, the Reform Party has caused a massive change in government policy and changed their focus from economic growth (which has been achieved through importing enormous numbers of foreign workers putting tremendous strain on our social fabric and facilities) to productivity. The ruling Party is spending billions to try and do what should have been done years ago.

Reform Party. RP Election Manifesto. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/election-manifesto-2/
The SPP believes in a “heartland-friendlier” Singapore, where Singapore’s success is defined as much by how well the “sandwiched-class” and “left-behind” members of society are assisted, as well as by the success of society’s “have”s and “rich”. We believe that it is possible to together address the bread-and-butter needs of the common Singaporean, and also strengthen real pillars of long-term economic growth for all. ... The SPP believes that the years of fast and rapid economic growth in Singapore has widened the gap between the rich and the poor, and has resulted in an ever-widening income disparity that is leaving many Singaporeans behind.
The SPP calls for real-term life solutions for all Singaporeans, that are real responses to real issues of real concern to common Singaporeans.
The SPP affirms the ongoing promotion of a productive environment for economic growth, but also calls for the development of an even more inclusive and encouraging environment for all Sigaporeans.
The SPP calls for real issues like income disparity, depressed wages, inflation and cost-of-living to be properly and collaboratively addressed, so real pillars can be strengthened for long term economic growth for the common Singaporean. -

Singapore People's Party. SPP Election Manifesto. Retrieved from http://archive.is/xLWE#selection-311.0-311.422
The Party believes that Singapore needs a capitalistic market economic system but such system must be moderated by Socialistic measures so to prevent eventual social instability caused by the inevitable income and wealth inequality and disparity caused by such capitalistic system.

People's Power Party - PPP Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/peoplespowerpartysg/posts/915380101836552
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Singapore should decrease the number of visas given to low-skill migrants."Foreign workers contribute positively to our well-being and the vast majority are hardworking and responsible. The government will continue to monitor closely the overall number of foreign workers... as well as enhance the management of their well-being."

People's Action Party Facebook Page. Ministerial Statement on Foreign Worker Management 20 Jan 2014. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pap.sg/videos/764674353543967/
We will restructure the economy by making it much less dependent on cheap low-skilled foreign labour as it depresses our wage levels, lowers overall productivity, sustains low skill industries and adds to over-crowding. We will review the need to give very favourable foreign worker quotas to certain industries that are highly dependent on foreign workers; this special treatment is unfair to other industries and distorts our manpower policies. For example, shipyards employ 100,000 foreign workers out of a total workforce of 120,000.
...

Local enterprises must be encouraged to give priority to the employment of Singaporeans across all sectors but particularly at PMET and senior management levels. Foreigners should only be hired where specialist skills are missing in Singaporeans. Government-linked companies should start the trend by enrolling more Singaporeans in the executive and management positions.

We should review policies that put Singaporeans at a disadvantage compared to foreign staff.

SingFirst Manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.singfirst.org/manifesto-in-english
The SDA advocates a “Singaporeans First” Policy for employment, which will be legislated. This means that an employer must prove that he cannot find a suitable local for the current vacancy and has exhausted all means of employing a local for the job, before approval is granted for the employment of foreigners.

SDA’s General Election 2015 Manifesto. Retrieved from http://singaporedemocraticalliance.sg/sdas-general-election-2015-manifesto/
Singapore’s population has grown from 4.03 million in 2000 to over 5.08 million in 2010 - a 26% increase over just 10 years, mainly due to the PAP government’s extremely liberal immigration and foreign worker policies. This was effected without consultation with Singaporeans or any clear public communication about the population goals and strategic objectives. This huge influx of new arrivals has contributed to overcrowding on our public transport system and hospitals. There is now a shortage of public housing and flat prices have gone beyond what many homebuyers consider affordable. The current population growth trajectory is unsustainable and requires an urgent re-evaluation before the strain becomes too much for Singaporeans to bear.

WP is not an anti-immigrant party. We welcome immigrants who contribute to the economic vibrancy, diversity and future population growth of our nation. However, we believe that the rate of immigration should not exceed the capacity of the country’s infrastructure and the comfort level of the local population.

The overall rate of population increase should be moderated to allow for the nation’s infrastructure improvements to catch up with the huge population increase of the past decade.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf
Quotas will continue to apply for lower-skilled and semi-skilled workers in the current Work Permit category (that is, for jobs attracting a salary of below S$2,000.00 per month).However, in jobs where foreign workers do not comprise the majority of the workforce, the interests of Singaporeans will be protected by fair employment laws.

Singapore Democratic Party. Building a People: Sound Policies for a Secure Future. Singapore Democratic Party. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/_ld/0/8_Population2.01.pdf
– Foreign workers: The group recommended that restrictions to foreign workers in Singapore be designed by industrial sectors, to allow sectors like F&B where fewer Singaporeans are trained for or are interested to do, to employ more foreign workers. And for sectors like engineering, healthcare, banking, to have tighter restrictions, to allow Singaporean PMETs to take on these middle-income jobs more easily.

Democratic Progressive Party-Singapore Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/dppsg/posts/928037210597571
"NSP reiterates that the single largest factor that prevented the wages of the citizen workforce from rising is the large supply of foreign workers who are willing to accept lower pay, as it is very convenient for employers to have foreign workers who may not demand better wages, or take up other jobs. This undermines the natural economic forces in local job-market by artificially filling low-paid, low-skill positions and removing the impetus for higher wage demands."

NSP’s response to “Fair Consideration Framework”. National Solidarity Party. Retrieved from http://nsp.sg/2013/09/27/nsps-response-to-fair-consideration-framework/
Unfortunately, the PAP economic model now works to the disadvantage of most Singaporeans. It worked well, though without any rise in underlying productivity, while we had surplus labour that could be drawn into the workforce. However when this was exhausted, rather than allow wages to rise to the levels of other advanced countries, the PAP found it easier to open the doors and allow a flood of cheap foreign labour from countries with wage levels of around a tenth or a twentieth of Singaporeans’ levels. First they took the jobs at the bottom but now they are increasingly moving up to compete with Singaporeans at all skill levels. Other countries have much stricter controls on immigration and have minimum wages and employment protection. The PAP have made sure Singapore has neither.

Singaporeans should not be fooled by Lee Hsien Loong’s claim that the PAP have calibrated the inflow of cheap labour. The only reason the rise in the foreign worker population has slowed down over the last year is the dire state of the global economy. Once global growth picks up, expect the foreign worker population to soar again. It is too easy a way of generating growth and indirectly swelling the incomes and bonuses of our ministers and their wives, relatives and cronies who run the GLCs whose profits depend on access to cheap labour. Our productivity and Singaporeans’ living standards will never rise as long as the PAP can tap new sources of cheap labour.

Reform Party. Reform Party National Day Message 2015. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/about-2/press-releases/reform-party-national-day-message-2015/
The rapid economic growth of Singapore, and the need to keep step with the global metropolises of the world, has resulted in the unavoidable need to bring in foreign talent and foreign workers to keep the Singapore economy growing.  The SPP affirms the many policies in this regard that has been made by the government, to keep Singapore afloat and relevant on the global economic stage. ... Employment has become a hot topic as the declining salaries and ever-increasing competition with foreigners for fewer available jobs have made it difficult for certain segments of Singaporeans to find jobs. Allowing cheaper foreign workers to depress local wages across the jobs market, also unfairly pressures local Singaporeans to compete with cheaper foreigners for the same jobs.  Many of these foreign workers have local housing , meals and healthcare provided by their employers, and are supporting their families in countries with much cheaper and lower standards of living, which makes this keen sense of competition even less palatable to the common average Singaporean. ... Possible proposals to be explored together include a possible flat 17.5% tax instead of layered levies on skilled foreign employees paid by employers who employ such foreigners, in order to make a level playing field for local Singaporeans who are 16% (CPF contribution employer side) more expensive to hire. This 17.5% tax collected from skilled foreign labor and EP holders can be collected under a fund paying for skills-upgrading subsidies for the local Singapore citizen. -http://archive.is/xLWE Our suggestion would be for Singapore to encourage more productive, innovative and cutting edge foreign companies to come in to collaborate and encourage local companies to build up our productivity through competition. There will then be limited growth for companies that are overly reliant on low wage foreign labour. We have a few of these companies in the marine industry, for instance. -http://www.spp.org.sg/ncmp-lina-chiam-parliamentary-speech-on-budget-2014/ We are supportive of a vibrant immigration policy, if the benefits of being a vibrant global city can be channelled towards our citizens more directly. This must happen on 2 levels –

1. Work passes should be offered to talents with unique skill sets during their economically active life. But I am not sure if policies should encourage non-citizen workers to retire in Singapore. Given a low birth rate, Singapore will need active young people to supplement the economic requirements of an ageing policy. But if too many young people from abroad eventually retire in Singapore, the ageing issue will only compound the original problem we were trying to solve!

2. If the government expects citizens to put up with a growing population and a more challenging social environment, we are right to expect the government to invest more in the education and healthcare of Singaporeans. In the short term, we might be able to endure the stretch in population and embrace a non-Singaporean majority workforce. But in the mid- to long-term, the incremental revenues to the state must be invested to create a globally competitive Singapore core that can compete in a transforming global economy.

Singapore People's Party. SPP National Day Message 2013. Retrieved from http://www.spp.org.sg/spp-national-day-message-2013/
However, what the PAP did was, they brought in the foreign labour, but did they contribute to these two? Did they contribute to Medishield Life, CPF Life? No. What do they contribute to? Workers' levy. And who benefited? GLCs (Government-linked companies), MNCs (multinational corporations), but the elderly aren't benefiting. That is the key problem of the whole structure,

Channel NewsAsia. Population issue dominates political dialogue at NUSS. Retrieved from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/ahpetc-ago-report-among/2058984.html
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Singapore should decrease the number of permanent residencies given to high-skill migrants.“On foreigners and immigration, there are no easy choices. Every option has a cost, has a downside,” Lee said.

“If we close our door to foreign workers, our economy will tank. Companies won’t have enough workers. Some will close down and our own people working in these companies will lose their jobs,” Lee said.

“On the other hand, if we let in too many foreign workers, our society will come undone. Singaporeans will be crowded out, workplaces will feel foreign, our identity will be diluted and we just can’t digest huge numbers,” he added.

“Whichever option we choose, it will involve some pain. But I believe that I am doing what Singapore needs and what best safeguards your interests.”

AFP. Singapore PM defends immigration policy ahead of general election. Retrieved from http://tribune.com.pk/story/943467/singapore-pm-defends-immigration-policy-ahead-of-general-election/
We will restructure the economy by making it much less dependent on cheap low-skilled foreign labour as it depresses our wage levels, lowers overall productivity, sustains low skill industries and adds to over-crowding. We will review the need to give very favourable foreign worker quotas to certain industries that are highly dependent on foreign workers; this special treatment is unfair to other industries and distorts our manpower policies. For example, shipyards employ 100,000 foreign workers out of a total workforce of 120,000.
...

Local enterprises must be encouraged to give priority to the employment of Singaporeans across all sectors but particularly at PMET and senior management levels. Foreigners should only be hired where specialist skills are missing in Singaporeans. Government-linked companies should start the trend by enrolling more Singaporeans in the executive and management positions.

We should review policies that put Singaporeans at a disadvantage compared to foreign staff.

SingFirst Manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.singfirst.org/manifesto-in-english
SDA will stand firm on saying NO to 6.9 million population; we treasure our unique identity made of up 4 main races living harmoniously as one, and will stand together to hear the lion roar! We will stand up to the PAP against the mass import of foreigners into Singapore vying for our houses,our jobs, our schools, our public infrastructure by becoming new citizens! We will preserve a “Singapore for Singaporeans” value strongly, where in everything essential and beneficial, it will always be “Singaporeans First”. 2015 manifesto, page 3/9, http://singaporedemocraticalliance.sg/sdasgeneralelection2015manifesto/ On top of that, the SDA is also aware of the dichotomy between a “foreign talent” and a “foreign worker”. While stringent measures are taken for the hiring of foreign talents to cut out competition for our citizens’ employment opportunities, there are certain roles that may be only be filled by foreign workers. Such roles may include restaurant staff, logistics staff, construction workers, manufacturing industries etc, and we will repel the current “foreign workers quota” policy so that the SMEs and F&B businesses do not have to shortage of manpower, which in turn leads to lost sales and lousy service rendered.

Singapore Democratic Alliance.
SDA’s General Election 2015 MANIFESTO. Retrieved from http://singaporedemocraticalliance.sg/sdas-general-election-2015-manifesto/
Singapore’s population has grown from 4.03 million in 2000 to over 5.08 million in 2010 - a 26% increase over just 10 years, mainly due to the PAP government’s extremely liberal immigration and foreign worker policies. This was effected without consultation with Singaporeans or any clear public communication about the population goals and strategic objectives. This huge influx of new arrivals has contributed to overcrowding on our public transport system and hospitals. There is now a shortage of public housing and flat prices have gone beyond what many homebuyers consider affordable. The current population growth trajectory is unsustainable and requires an urgent re-evaluation before the strain becomes too much for Singaporeans to bear.

WP is not an anti-immigrant party. We welcome immigrants who contribute to the economic vibrancy, diversity and future population growth of our nation. However, we believe that the rate of immigration should not exceed the capacity of the country’s infrastructure and the comfort level of the local population.

The overall rate of population increase should be moderated to allow for the nation’s infrastructure improvements to catch up with the huge population increase of the past decade.

A points-based system should be developed to assess individuals applying for citizenship and permanent residency, while retaining the government’s discretion to make the final decision. The criteria for the points system should be made public. This will provide more transparency and reduce unhealthy bureaucratic discretion in deciding on such applications. Best practices in developed countries should be studied. The criteria for the points system should include the following:
• Educational Qualifications
• Language Proficiency (including English)
• Work Experience
• Job Offer in Singapore for an occupation in the Qualifying Occupations List (which should be developed in consultation with industry groups to identify occupations that face a shortage of workers)
• Family relationships with Singaporeans
• Qualifications of spouse
• Period of stay in Singapore
• Entrepreneur or investor points
• Commitment to National Service

In assessing citizenship and permanent residency applications, priority should
be given to applications by family units as compared with individuals or
couples. This will encourage applicants to sink roots here, commit their male
children to National Service, and facilitate better integration.

All foreign spouses of Singaporeans should be issued with residential visas and
be allowed to work locally. Priority should be given to their PR applications
and eventually their citizenship applications. This will ensure the unity of the
family and possibly encourage the couples to have more children who grow up
in Singapore

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf
Under this policy, businesses will be required to:
● Demonstrate that the skills their companies require are not available among Singaporeans before they are allowed to hire a foreign worker;
● Hire foreign workers from a pool of shortlisted applicants who are assessed based on a rigorous merit-based framework; and
● Retrench non-Singaporeans before locals (should retrenchment be necessary, given similar work-performance).

...

The Singaporeans First Policy will benefit both local employers and Singaporean employees.Talent infusion will make our economy genuinely competitive while ensuring thatSingaporeans do not compete unfairly with cheap labour from abroad. This is in keeping withthe SDP's belief that competition between workers should form a race to the top on the basisof skill and innovation, as opposed to a perverse race to the bottom on how low a wage one iswilling to accept. Fair employment laws will make employment more just across the boardand remove the adverse incentives for businesses to favour foreign workers over Singaporeans.

Building a People: Sound Policies for a Secure Future. Singapore Democratic Party. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/_ld/0/8_Population2.01.pdf
Foreign workers: The group recommended that restrictions to foreign workers in Singapore be designed by industrial sectors, to allow sectors like F&B where fewer Singaporeans are trained for or are interested to do, to employ more foreign workers. And for sectors like engineering, healthcare, banking, to have tighter restrictions, to allow Singaporean PMETs to take on these middle-income jobs more easily


Democratic Progressive Party-Singapore Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/dppsg/posts/928037210597571:0
Executive Summary of NSP's Population Plan for Singapore. National Solidarity Party. http://www.scribd.com/doc/123301619/Executive-Summary-of-NSP-s-Population-Plan-for-SingaporeReforms to Foreign Worker Policy to ensure that business gets the skilled labour it needs but that our own citizens come first.

Reform Party. Election Manifesto. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/election-manifesto-2/
The rapid economic growth of Singapore, and the need to keep step with the global metropolises of the world, has resulted in the unavoidable need to bring in foreign talent and foreign workers to keep the Singapore economy growing.  The SPP affirms the many policies in this regard that has been made by the government, to keep Singapore afloat and relevant on the global economic stage. ... Employment has become a hot topic as the declining salaries and ever-increasing competition with foreigners for fewer available jobs have made it difficult for certain segments of Singaporeans to find jobs. Allowing cheaper foreign workers to depress local wages across the jobs market, also unfairly pressures local Singaporeans to compete with cheaper foreigners for the same jobs.  Many of these foreign workers have local housing , meals and healthcare provided by their employers, and are supporting their families in countries with much cheaper and lower standards of living, which makes this keen sense of competition even less palatable to the common average Singaporean. ... Possible proposals to be explored together include a possible flat 17.5% tax instead of layered levies on skilled foreign employees paid by employers who employ such foreigners, in order to make a level playing field for local Singaporeans who are 16% (CPF contribution employer side) more expensive to hire. This 17.5% tax collected from skilled foreign labor and EP holders can be collected under a fund paying for skills-upgrading subsidies for the local Singapore citizen. -http://archive.is/xLWE We are supportive of a vibrant immigration policy, if the benefits of being a vibrant global city can be channelled towards our citizens more directly. This must happen on 2 levels –

1. Work passes should be offered to talents with unique skill sets during their economically active life. But I am not sure if policies should encourage non-citizen workers to retire in Singapore. Given a low birth rate, Singapore will need active young people to supplement the economic requirements of an ageing policy. But if too many young people from abroad eventually retire in Singapore, the ageing issue will only compound the original problem we were trying to solve!

2. If the government expects citizens to put up with a growing population and a more challenging social environment, we are right to expect the government to invest more in the education and healthcare of Singaporeans. In the short term, we might be able to endure the stretch in population and embrace a non-Singaporean majority workforce. But in the mid- to long-term, the incremental revenues to the state must be invested to create a globally competitive Singapore core that can compete in a transforming global economy.

Singapore People's Party. SPP National Day Message 2013. Retrieved from http://www.spp.org.sg/spp-national-day-message-2013/
It would be totally ironic to see foreign labour from India or PRCs allowed to bring their whole family to Singapore to reside and getting PRs so easily just because they earn higher income or subject to the liberal FTAs signed with their home countries while our local Singaporeans' foreign spouses were discriminated against, due to the lower earning power.

Singapore Alternatives. Campaign Trail - Foreign Labour and Population Policy. Retrieved from http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.sg/2015/08/campaign-trail-foreign-labour-and.html
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Singaporeans should be given preference in employment decisions."Singaporeans will benefit from a slew of measures by the Government to strengthen the Singapore core in the workforce. These measures are to progressively encourage and facilitate the transfer of expertise to Singaporean over time. One of these measures is the Fair Consideration Framework (FCF).

The Government has strengthen and fine-tuned the FCF, which sets out clear expectations for companies to consider Singaporeans fairly for job opportunities and it will apply uniformly to all companies in Singapore. All companies must comply with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment Practices and have fair employment practices that are open, merit-based and non-discriminatory.

FCF also details, among other things, fair hiring requirements for companies in Singapore, which include:

Requiring companies in Singapore to advertise in the Jobs Bank first, which is open only to Singaporeans
Actions against companies with questionable hiring practices
Disclosure of the company’s current share of Singaporeans in PME positions
Curtailing of work pass privileges for errant companies
Together with Fair Consideration Framework, two other major schemes announced earlier to help boost Singaporean core in the workforce include a two-year pilot Career Support Programme (CSP) to secure jobs for mature Singaporean PMEs and the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP), introduced in 2007 to assist Singaporean PMEs to make a career switch to growing industry.

People's Action Party. Fair employment for Singaporeans. Retrieved from https://www.pap.org.sg/Fair_employment_for_Singaporeans/Article

On whether Singapore would continue to accept foreign talent, he replied, ""We will continue to accept talent. We must continue to be welcoming and open. We have set our immigration policy for now, but will review it after a few years.""

To one who asked about the possibility of loosening foreign worker quotas, he said, ""We have to continue to be tight, but we are watching carefully to make sure we don't overdo things. This is one issue DPM Tharman is studying.""

Yahoo News. PM Lee tackles CPF, HDB flats, immigration, rising costs and more in Facebook chat. Retrieved from https://sg.news.yahoo.com/pm-lee-tackles-cpf--hdb-flats--immigration--rising-costs-and-more-in-facebook-chat-063518142.html

“If we close our door to foreign workers, our economy will tank. Companies won’t have enough workers. Some will close down and our own people working in these companies will lose their jobs,” Lee said.

“On the other hand, if we let in too many foreign workers, our society will come undone. Singaporeans will be crowded out, workplaces will feel foreign, our identity will be diluted and we just can’t digest huge numbers,” he added.

“Whichever option we choose, it will involve some pain. But I believe that I am doing what Singapore needs and what best safeguards your interests.”

AFP. Singapore PM defends immigration policy ahead of general election. Retrieved from http://tribune.com.pk/story/943467/singapore-pm-defends-immigration-policy-ahead-of-general-election/ ""3. Must the job in the EP application match the job advertised on the Jobs
Bank? How will MOM know whether a firm has advertised on the Jobs Bank
before submitting an EP application?
• Yes, it goes without saying that the job in the EP application must,
naturally, match the one advertised on the Jobs Bank. Each job
advertisement on the Jobs Bank will have a Job Posting ID issued by
WDA. The firm will be required to provide the Job Posting ID when
applying for an EP.
4. The firm had not advertised on the Jobs Bank because it did not intend to
hire foreigners, but subsequently decided to hire a foreigner because it had
not found a suitable Singaporean. Would the firm have to advertise on the
Jobs Bank before submitting the EP application?
• Yes, regardless of the circumstances for hiring an EP holder, the firm
must advertise on the Jobs Bank for at least 14 calendar days before it
submits an EP application. This is to ensure that Singaporeans interested
in the job are able to have access to the job information before the firm
makes the hiring decision.
5. Must the job advertisement on the Jobs Bank specify Singaporeans only?
• In accordance with the Tripartite Guidelines on Fair Employment
Practices, employers should avoid specifying any nationality in their job
advertisements.
6. I am a Singaporean and was not successful in getting the job that I applied
for. The firm hired an EP holder instead. Can I lodge a complaint with
MOM?
• Employers take into account a range of factors in deciding on a suitable
person to recruit. These factors can include the person’s qualifications,
experience, interpersonal skills, and other qualities that are related to the
demands of the job. MOM does not review the merits of a firm’s individual
hiring decision, as the firm is best placed to decide on which candidate can
do the job. What is important is that the hiring process is fair and that
Singaporeans are considered fairly based on merit.

• If you suspect that a firm has not been fair in its hiring process, you can
give us your feedback at 6438-5122 or through our online feedback form
(http://www.mom.gov.sg/feedback).

Fair Consideration Framework: Questions and Answers. Retrieved from: http://www.mom.gov.sg/~/media/mom/documents/press-releases/2013/factsheet-fair-consideration-framework.pdf"
We will restructure the economy by making it much less dependent on cheap low-skilled foreign labour as it depresses our wage levels, lowers overall productivity, sustains low skill industries and adds to over-crowding. We will review the need to give very favourable foreign worker quotas to certain industries that are highly dependent on foreign workers; this special treatment is unfair to other industries and distorts our manpower policies. For example, shipyards employ 100,000 foreign workers out of a total workforce of 120,000.
...

Local enterprises must be encouraged to give priority to the employment of Singaporeans across all sectors but particularly at PMET and senior management levels. Foreigners should only be hired where specialist skills are missing in Singaporeans. Government-linked companies should start the trend by enrolling more Singaporeans in the executive and management positions.

We should review policies that put Singaporeans at a disadvantage compared to foreign staff.

SingFirst Manifesto. Retrieved from http://www.singfirst.org/manifesto-in-english
The SDA advocates a “Singaporeans First” Policy for employment, which will be legislated. This means that an employer must prove that he cannot find a suitable local for the current vacancy and has exhausted all means of employing a local for the job, before approval is granted for the employment of foreigners.

On top of that, the SDA is also aware of the dichotomy between a “foreign talent” and a “foreign worker”. While stringent measures are taken for the hiring of foreign talents to cut out competition for our citizens’ employment opportunities, there are certain roles that may be only be filled by foreign workers. Such roles may include restaurant staff, logistics staff, construction workers, manufacturing industries etc, and we will repel the current “foreign workers quota” policy so that the SMEs and F&B businesses do not have to shortage of manpower, which in turn leads to lost sales and lousy service rendered.


Singapore Democratic Alliance.
SDA’s General Election 2015 MANIFESTO. Retrieved from http://singaporedemocraticalliance.sg/sdas-general-election-2015-manifesto/
WP is not an anti-immigrant party. We welcome immigrants who contribute to the economic vibrancy, diversity and future population growth of our nation. However, we believe that the rate of immigration should not exceed the capacity of the country’s infrastructure and the comfort level of the local population.

WP recognises the contributions of foreigners to the economic vibrancy of our nation and the need for foreign expertise in certain fields. However, the reason for admitting foreigners into our country should be to enhance the quality of life of Singaporeans.

There must be sufficient opportunities for Singaporeans to earn a decent living and to advance their careers in their own country.

Employers should give priority to hiring Singaporeans. Foreign manpower should primarily be employed in positions Singaporeans are unable to fill.

Singapore should reduce its over-reliance on foreign workers through increased automation and productivity improvements of our local workforce.

The inflow of the foreign workforce at all skill levels should be calibrated for each industry, taking into account the suitability of Singaporeans for those industries, productivity targets and sustainability.

The dependency ratio or quota for foreign manpower should be further finetuned to the specific industry, rather than broad sectors such as manufacturing or services, to better ascertain and calibrate the need for foreign manpower vis- à-vis employment prospects for Singaporeans.

Analysis and tracking should be done to ascertain if there are occupations which Singaporeans will not take up at all (e.g. as live-in domestic helpers). For such occupations, the foreign worker levy should be reviewed with a view to removing it, which will reduce employers’ costs.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf

The Fair Consideration Framework is an important tool to ensure that Singaporeans are fairly considered for jobs. In parliament last year, Minister informed the house that MoM has a set of internal triggers to determine if employers will be identified for additional scrutiny based on a broad range of factors. I would like to ask what the scope of the Ministry’s internal triggers are, and what are the broad range of factors that the Ministry employs in determining whether companies are staying true to the ethos of the Fair Consideration Framework.

I would also like to ask Minister how many companies have been advised or investigated by the Ministry thus far, and how many have been deemed to be in breach of the framework. In addition, which industries have most to do in adhering to the Fair Consideration Framework. Does the Ministry plan to increase the penalties under this framework and what does the Ministry’s plan to do to engage firms that are not doing enough to hire and develop Singaporean PMEs.
Thirdly and in step with the Ministry’s active role to engage firms to address this problem, does the Ministry plan to tie firms up with the SkillsFuture Council to address shortage of Singaporean staff, by promoting certain courses among Singaporeans for consideration.

Finally, as part of the Fair Consideration Framework, would the Ministry consider highlighting and promoting companies that go out of their way to hire, retain and establish dedicated senior appointment career tracks for Singaporeans, and to highlight such companies as industry champions.

COS 2015 Debate: MOM – Fair Consideration Framework (MP Pritam Singh). Retrieved from http://v1.wp.sg/2015/03/cos-2015-debate-mom-fair-consideration-framework-mp-pritam-singh/.
Enact a Singaporeans First Policy. A nation should always ensure that the wellbeing of its citizens is prioritised. To this end, a TalentTrack Scheme should be implemented, to ensurethat only foreign professionals whose skills and credentials are rigorously verified may workin Singapore. Businesses seeking to hire foreign professionals will be required to demonstratethat the competencies they seek are not available within the Singaporean candidate pool. Fair employment laws will also be passed to protect the interests of workers. This policy will have the effect of significantly reducing the number of foreign workers while maintaining a highquality workforce in Singapore.

Building a People: Sound Policies for a Secure Future. Singapore Democratic Party. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/_ld/0/8_Population2.01.pdf
– Employment: The group noted the increasing number of non-citizens being employed, not just in the private sector, but also in the civil service and GLCs, even at senior management levels. The group proposed additional policy measures to ensure a “Singaporeans-first” domestic job market, especially in middle-to-upper management in the civil service and GLC, as well as the private sector.

Democratic Progressive Party. DPP Policy Working Group. Retrived from http://www.dpp.sg/dpp-policy-working-group/
"12. Domestically, Singaporeans from the low and middle income groups are facing multiple challenges daily as a result of over-population and rising cost of living. Overpopulation has led to an intense competition for jobs, housing, food and transportation. Many Singaporeans have been displaced from their jobs as a result. Many more have missed out on their promotions, bonuses and pay increments. They are emotionally upset and are frustrated at having to compete with foreigners for jobs in their own country especially when they are equally competent and skilled." -http://nsp.sg/2015/03/12/nsp-statement-on-singapore-budget-2015/ ""The National Solidarity Party welcomes the Ministry of Manpower’s announcement on 23 September 2013 on the new Fair Consideration Framework (FCF) which requires employers to consider Singaporeans fairly before hiring Employment Pass (EP) holders[1]. For some time, opposition parties and concerned citizens have urged the Government to review its policies relating to the employment of non-Singaporeans.

In our 2011 General Elections Manifesto[2], we had specifically called on the Government to grant priority to Singaporeans in employment. We are glad that the Government has heeded the call to level the playing field between Singaporeans and foreigners for job opportunities and has moved to improve employment opportunities for Singaporeans.""

National Solidarity Party. NSP’s response to “Fair Consideration Framework”. Retrieved from http://nsp.sg/2013/09/27/nsps-response-to-fair-consideration-framework/
Reforms to Foreign Worker Policy to ensure that business gets the skilled labour it needs but that our own citizens come first.

Reform Party. Election Manifesto. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/election-manifesto-2/
For instance, the SPP feels that the government’s accountability to its people must

be based on the following indicators:

• the percentage of Singaporeans employed in newly created jobs;

• the median pay of Singaporeans versus our foreign counterparts;

• what incentives are in place to motivate companies to help meet the

indicators above.

Singapore People's Party. SPP – Labour Day Message 2014. Retrieved from http://www.spp.org.sg/spp-labour-day-message-2014/
MNCs and GLCs hardly have any problems in employing Foreign Labour and some have extremely favourable quota to start with. The irony is that these jobs are mainly PMET jobs which Singaporeans desire and want to do but PAP government has allowed them to be displaced by loose quota.

Ironically, PAP government has set very high workers' levies on jobs which Singaporeans shun away (eg. Construction)

Singapore Alternatives. Campaign Trail - Foreign Labour and Population Policy. Retrieved from http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.sg/2015/08/campaign-trail-foreign-labour-and.html
6
Singapore should abolish 377A, which criminalizes homosexual acts.Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that Singapore is not ready for same-sex marriage as the society is still “basically a conservative one”.

TODAYOnline. Conservative S’pore ‘not ready for same-sex marriage’. Retrieved from http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/spore-not-ready-same-sex-marriage-pm-lee

Lee Hsien Loong's speech on 377A [read in full].

Yawning Bread. Lee Hsien Loong's speech on Section 377A. Retrieved from http://www.yawningbread.org/apdx_2007/imp-360.htm
We believe in an inclusive society in which every Singaporean has an equal place without discrimination on the basis of gender, race, language, religion, physical handicap or sexual orientation.

SingFirst. Top 10 List. Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/top-10-questions-about-singfirst/
No mention foundThe Workers’ Party replied by saying that they continue not to have any position on gay-related issues, as was the case in October 2007 during the parliamentary debate over Section 377A.

People Like Us. Singapore political parties’ positions on LGBT concerns – General election 2011. Retrieved from http://www.plu.sg/society/?p=223

the Workers’ Party leadership, several months ago, discussed extensively the issue of whether section 377A should be retained or repealed. After much deliberation, we were unable to arrive at a consensus that it should be repealed and, as such, we would not be calling for its abolition.

Yawning Bread. When you should vote PAP. Retrieved from https://yawningbread.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/when-you-should-vote-pap/
We support the repeal of Section 377A. We made our stand clear in 2007 here [http://singaporedemocrat.org/articlegayrights3.html] and defended it here [http://www.singaporedemocrat.org/articlegayrights4.html]. We have embedded in our website the following statement: “As a nation, we must not only show tolerance but also acceptance of our fellow citizens regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or political persuasion.” (see here [http://www.yoursdp.org/index.php/the-party/what-we-stand-for]).

People Like Us. Singapore political parties’ positions on LGBT concerns – General election 2011. Retrieved from http://www.plu.sg/society/?p=223

In accordance with our party principles, the SDP supports the call to repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code.

In the section What We Stand For on this website, we stated: "As a nation, we must not only show tolerance but also acceptance of our fellow citizens regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, or political persuasion. Discrimination of our fellow human beings has been one human frailty that has wreaked much destruction and misery."

We stand by our words and say unambiguously that Section 377A discriminates against a segment of our population and that discrimination, in whatever form, has no place in society.

We therefore call on the PAP Government to repeal the law.

Singapore Democratic Party. SINGAPORE DEMOCRATS SUPPORT REPEAL OF SECTION 377A. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/news/singapore_democrats_support_repeal_of_section_377a/2007-10-12-4945
Homosexuality in Singapore Youtube Page. DPP's Benjamin Pwee's views on Section 377A. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY3DeWpfwCEUpon reflection, we come to the following general conclusions:

1) NSP is made up of a wide spectrum of individuals with different inclinations, from extreme liberal to ultra conservative. However, the mean score index is skewed towards the conservative position. We believe that this composition of NSP is more or less representative of the Singapore society at large.

2) Although NSP will be fighting for a broader base of equality and rights for Singaporeans in various segments of legislation (eg. Equal Opportunity in Labour law etc), the isolate issue of LGBT rights will not be NSP’s main political campaigning focus for the foreseeable future.

3) However, NSP will not restrict its members or future Members of Parliament to express their views or vote according to their own inclination with regard to LGBT issues.

4) NSP may not be able to answer each and every question that you have raised but we would like to address these questions in a more general approach at this moment.

5) Your questions could be categorized into 4 broad areas i.e.

A) Section 377A & Equality

B) Equality on Jobs

C) Media policy and promotion of alternative lifestyle via media

D) Recognition of Same-sex marriage

.

5A) Section 377A & Equality

NSP recognizes the existence of LGBT community in Singapore. NSP also recognizes the enactment of any laws should be in accordance with the principles and core values that the nation holds as a people. Individuals’ interests and rights should not supercede the core values that the society holds.

If a law is to be repealed or changed, it must get enough support from the society at large. NSP strives to have a more diverse representation within its rank and file so that different views could be heard and presented within. For the issue of Section 377A, with due respect to each different individuals in the party, we would let our members decide on their own as this is the not the key political focus of the party. It would also mean that future MPs of the party would have to exercise their own political discretion and judgment in deciding whether to vote for or against the repeal of Section 377A, in accordance to social sentiments of that time.

.

5B) Equality on Jobs

In principle, NSP is against discriminative employment practices. We advocate Equal Opportunities for all, regardless of race, religion, disability, age, sex and even sexual orientation.

.

5C) Media policy and promotion of alternative lifestyle via media

In principle, we do not think Singapore is ready for equal promotion of alternative lifestyle. However, we do not discount the fact that social mindset may change over time. It will depend very much on the social acceptance of Singaporeans on promotion of alternative lifestyle over the media.

.

5D) Recognition of Same-sex marriage

We do not think Singapore society is ready to legitimize same-sex marriage. Most of the issues raised could be dealt with by other legitimate means like writing Will or empowering LGBT partners by means of Attorney of Power.

Singapore’s social core values, at this moment, only recognizes family unit with heterosexual relationship. In principle, NSP has to respect such core values held as a society.

People Like Us. Singapore political parties’ positions on LGBT concerns – General election 2011. Retrieved from http://www.plu.sg/society/?p=223
Thanks for sending this questionnaire to us. I am aware that these issues are of overwhelming importance to the LGBT community. Please be assured that the Reform Party is a liberal secular Party. We believe passionately in freedom of expression and association. One of our central tenets is that there should not be any discrimination between individuals based on gender, race, religion, age and sexual orientation. We are committed to working towards the repeal of Section 377A and the decriminalization of homosexuality.

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Somebody's sexuality is not a part of the qualities to be a politician. At the Reform Party, we're an inclusive, liberal party and we don't believe in discriminating against people on the grounds of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation

Homosexuality in Singapore Youtube Page. Kenneth Jeyaretnam: sexual orientation has no bearing on politician's competence. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP7wLx2YRrk
No mention foundNo mention found
7
Singapore should expand its civil liberties.“You know that the French had this murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist in Paris earlier this year. Freedom of speech, 'I am Charlie Hebdo'. We have freedom of speech too, but we also acknowledge restraints when it comes to denigrating somebody else's faith, when it comes to proselytising and trying to persuade somebody else to come over to your faith. Or even when it comes to how you express your own beliefs so as not to cause offence to others and some of these are written down and in extremis, we have to take a person to court.

Prime Minister's Office. Transcript of Dialogue with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the SG50+ Conference on 2 July 2015. Retrieved from http://www.pmo.gov.sg/mediacentre/transcript-dialogue-prime-minister-lee-hsien-loong-sg50-conference-2-july-2015
SingFirst proposal: -Respect for all, regardless of beliefs Multi-party cooperation - Transparency - Respect professional integrity of civil service, Independent Election Commission - Free Press -

SingFirst. GE Mythbuster 2 : Singapore cannot succeed without the PAP? Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/2015/08/06/ge-mythbuster-2-singapore-cannot-succeed-without-the-pap-2/
No mention foundThe PAP government has consistently tinkered with the structure and processes of government to ensure minimal accountability to the public. Citizen activism is encouraged only if the PAP government “leads”.

The Public Order Act (POA), which was passed on April 13, 2009 gives our law enforcement agencies such wide discretionary powers that it further erodes the Constitutional rights of citizens to freedom of expression and assembly. Of particular concerns are three areas – Public Assembly, Move-on Order and restriction on filming of law enforcement activities...

There should be an environment conducive to citizen activism and citizens should be free to form associations. Singaporeans should be assured of liberty, and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention.

The local mass media should be socially responsible and free from political influence in respect of content.

It is fundamental that we protect our civil liberties and hold the government to
accountability.

The Internal Security Act, which provides for detention without trial in cases of alleged subversion, should be abolished. Singapore shall be brought in line with international practices to try such cases, including espionage, with modified procedures to protect official secrets if necessary.

In cases of alleged terrorism, the government should be enabled by a dedicated anti-terrorism law to make swift arrests and detain suspects without trial. However, these suspects must be afforded real avenues to challenge the legality of their arrests through the courts and an advisory board. These bodies should be empowered to order the person’s release if not satisfied as to the legality of the detention.

The Public Order Act (POA) should not be used to curtail active citizenry. In particular, the provisions on Public Assembly, Move-on order and Restrictions on filming of law enforcement operations should be reviewed.

Peaceful demonstrations shall be allowed, subject to prior notification to the police, to ensure minimum disruption to traffic and public convenience.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf
Many people have associated the SDP with democracy, human rights and civil rights. Some have denigrated us for promoting these values, others have lauded us. Regardless – that's what we will continue to do. We're proud that we are bringing the language, the discourse into the political arena in Singapore.

Singapore Democratic Party. WHAT HAS POLITICS TO DO WITH HUMAN RIGHTS? Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/publ/perspectives/what_has_politics_to_do_with_human_rights/2-1-0-1415

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The SDP focuses on both [bread-and-butter as well as human rights issues] because they are equally important; they are two sides of the same coin. We have repeatedly brought up pocket-book issues such as cost of living, withholding of our CPF funds, jobs for Singaporeans, minimum wage, ministers' pay and so on.

Singapore Democratic Party. WHY DOES THE SINGAPORE DEMOCRATS FOCUS ON HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUES AND NOT BREAD-AND-BUTTER ISSUES? Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/publ/the_party/misconceptions_about_the_singapore_democrats/why_does_the_singapore_democrats_focus_on_human_rights_issues_and_not_bread_and_butter_issues/22-1-0-1511
...

However, without a system where opposition parties can freely campaign for votes, where the media reflects fairly and accurately about dissenting views, where civil society can speak up on behalf of the people, no meaningful change can occur.

Conversely when society has a free and pluralistic media, where the people are able to exercise our freedoms of speech and assembly, and are able to vote in genuinely free and fair elections the PAP will not be so arrogant and insensitive to the wishes of the people.


Because we believe in, and are working towards:
restoring human, civil, and political rights in Singapore;
fostering a vibrant and dynamic society based pluralism and diversity;
cultivating a transparent and accountable political system;
establishing an economic system based on free competition and equal opportunity for all;
removing all policies and practices that discriminate against the less fortunate, women, and minorities;
and cooperating with democratic parties and organisations in Asia to achieve peace and sustainable development in the region.


Singapore Democratic Party. WHO WE ARE. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/publ/the_party/about_the_party/who_we_are/7-1-0-3
Citizens should also be given rightful freedom to pursue their own right of political aspiration in the day-to-day of their lives.

Democratic Progressive Party. Labour Day Message. Retrieved from http://www.dpp.sg/labour-day-message/
"Politics and Civil Society

Politics has to be done right in Singapore, otherwise we will not be a fully functioning democracy in which people are empowered to make a stand on issues that affect them.

Unfortunately, unsavoury tactics such as gerrymandering, the ruling’s party ties with the People’s Association and other legislations such as the Political Donations Act, the MDA Licensing Scheme, the Newspapers and Printing Presses Act, the Defamation Act, et al., prove that the ruling party continues to maintain an iron fist and comparative political advantage over any other entrants from parties of other affiliations.

Separately, while it is encouraging that the government wishes to see more active citizenry and has thus initiated a Youth Corps, it must be acknowledged that we do not need another institutionalized system to encourage a concept as organic as bottom-up initiatives. Instead, Singapore requires a politico-cultural shift to relax social restrictions such as illegal assembly laws and an openness to accept bottom-up campaigns which might be dissenting from the viewpoint of the ruling party.

The ruling party needs more than the implementation of another committee or institution. There needs to be an opening up of society, and a fundamental shift in the values that Singapore wishes to espouse to make itself a more vibrant city in the years going forward.""

National Solidarity Party. National Solidarity Party’s response to the National Day Rally Speech 2013. http://nsp.sg/2013/08/22/nsp-response-to-the-national-day-rally/
Abolish restrictions on freedom of expression to encourage creativity and innovation necessary for a 21st century knowledge-based economy.

---

Without freedom of expression and a climate of ideas fostering innovation and creativity we will not only fall further behind the already rich nations of the US, Europe and Japan but also the new, and considerably freer Asian states such as South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Even our customary advantages in education and infrastructure are being eroded by India and China as well as many of our ASEAN neighbours.

Reform Party. RP Election Manifesto. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/election-manifesto-2/
Controlling the discourse online, such as through the new MDA internet regulations last year, is counter-productive and self-defeating.

If the government is sincere about hearing people’s voices, the SPP urges them to take an even-handed approach in reviewing the Broadcasting Act in the remaining term of Parliament before the next General Election, as they have slated. -http://www.spp.org.sg/how-can-we-develop-true-empathy-spps-response-to-the-presidents-address-16-may-2014/ Declaration on the Abolition of the ISA

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the launch of ‘Operation Spectrum’, in which 16 Singaporeans were detained without trial under the ISA

The Singapore People’s Party believes that the Internal Security Act (ISA) must be abolished. All men and women must be guaranteed the right to a fair trial.

We believe that the ISA was misused in 1987 in Operation Spectrum, unless it is to be proven otherwise by an independent Commission of Inquiry.

The current safeguards against the misuse of the ISA are still grossly insufficient.

We note that in 1991, then Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said that Singapore will seriously consider abolishing the ISA if Malaysia were to do so. As of September 2011, the Malaysian Government announced that it would do so.

Terrorism-related activities should be addressed by laws drafted specifically for that purpose, where the element of armed violence must be thoroughly established.

Singapore cannot become a true democracy with the continued existence of the ISA. The climate of fear in Singapore must be definitively ended, and the ISA is a key obstacle to this.

Along these lines, we also believe that Singaporeans needs greater freedom of speech and expression, and we need a free press.

Only then can Singaporeans be empowered to stand up and make a real difference to improve our society. -

Singapore People's Party. SPP Declaration on the Abolition of the ISA. Retrieved from http://www.spp.org.sg/spp-declaration-on-the-abolition-of-the-isa/
The Party believes Free Press is part of the Impeachment Powers which should be safe guarded from interventions or control of the Executive as well.

People's Power Party - PPP Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/peoplespowerpartysg/posts/915380101836552
8
Singapore should abolish streaming practices in education.PSLE AND STREAMING

In the next phase of Our Singapore Conversation, we can discuss the various policy options. For example, the PSLE serves as an objective benchmark for secondary school posting today. So important questions that we need to discuss include:

How do we maintain our rigorous standards and accountability and whether we can allocate all secondary school places without an objective benchmark like the PSLE?

Are there alternative posting systems that are still objective, but can minimise the current over-emphasis on academic results, and enhance social inclusion?

To what extent should choice or proximity to school be a consideration in secondary school posting, as some have suggested?

Mr Gan Thiam Poh’s suggestion about PSLE cut-off points is something that we can consider further. Ms Denise Phua spoke about a through train model from pre-school to secondary school.

As another example, streaming at the secondary level allows us to tailor instruction to the abilities and learning styles of our students. But some have questioned if we should re-think whether streaming is absolutely necessary.

Important questions to discuss in the next phase of Our Singapore Conversation include:

Can we ensure that every child can learn at his or her own pace, if there is no streaming?

Will our schools be even less diverse if we did not have students from the various academic streams?

Can we replicate what we have done at the primary level, such as subject-based banding, at the secondary level?

Ministry of Education. FY 2013 Committee of Supply Debate: 1st Reply by Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Education: Hope - Opportunities For All. Retrieved from http://www.moe.gov.sg/media/speeches/2013/03/13/fy-2013-committee-of-supply-debate-first-reply.php
Singfirst proposal: -free education from primary one to university - smaller class size (half) for all -double number of teachers, better terms of service to raise status - Raise % target of cohort entering unversity from 30% to 50%

SingFirst. GE Mythbuster 2 : Singapore cannot succeed without the PAP? Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/2015/08/06/ge-mythbuster-2-singapore-cannot-succeed-without-the-pap-2/
Academic education still holds a lot of weight in today’s education system here, where grades and performance in examinations are main determinants of a child’s capability. Other aspects such as soft skills, sports and arts are being neglected instead of given the chance to blossom.

To help cope with the rising costs of living and encourage childbirth, SDA proposes that there be heavy subsidy or complete waiver of school fees for preschoolers and primary schools. To ease the stress of competition, SDA also proposes that we do away with the streaming system where students are being classified into the “better streams” or “worse streams” because of their academic performance.

With too much focus on academic performance, we are neglecting the nurture of other aspects of talents that a child may possess. SDA will advocate an education system whereby equal emphasis is being placed on different subjects, such as arts, music and sports etc, so that the students may discover their core gifts, and be developed and groomed in that area. .

Singapore Democratic Alliance.
SDA’s General Election 2015 MANIFESTO. Retrieved from http://singaporedemocraticalliance.sg/sdas-general-election-2015-manifesto/
In the past four decades, some ill-conceived streaming policies have stigmatised many young children as slow learners and underachievers. The obsession with testing, benchmarking and grouping young talents in our education system has caused unnecessary anxiety and bred pockets of elitism in our schools and society.

Taking the Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) is a stressful experience for children and parents alike. At a tender age of 12, a young pupil has to face the most important examination of his pre-adolescence life - an examination that may affect his entire future. We should study the feasibility of a primary-secondary integrated programme.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf
Remove PSLE and delay streaming

The stress of exams inflicts psychological trauma on children. It is not an intelligent approach to assess the abilities of primary-school students on a single examination.

Singapore Democratic Party. Educating For Creativity And Equality: An Agenda For Transformation. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/_ld/0/12_SDP_Education_P.pdf

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Remove PSLE and delay streaming

The effort to cultivate creative skills will be undermined if we continue to emphasise on intense competition among students in the form of examinations and streaming. There is no benefit by insisting on assessing the abilities and talents of primary schoolchildren from how they perform on a single examination at the end of their six years of primary school education. Not only are we forcing our children to continue with the out-moded practice of memorising and regurgitating information, we are also depriving ourselves of talented students who develop only at a later stage of their lives. Under such circumstances, creativity cannot flourish. In addition, streaming at an early age disadvantages students who are slower learners and those who are not able to afford expensive private tuition. A major study conducted by the OECD showed that early classification of students according to ability “has a negative impact on students assigned to lower tracks and exacerbates inequities, without raising average performance.” The study also concluded that streaming should be deferred to upper secondary education.

Therefore, under the SDP’s education plan, the PSLE will be removed and students entering secondary school will not be streamed. Streaming of students will be done at an appropriate age after cognitive functions have more or less fully developed, not before.

Singapore Democratic Party. SCRAP PSLE, DELAY STREAMING AND FOSTER CREATIVITY. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/publ/sdp_39_s_alternatives/education/scrap_psle_delay_streaming_and_foster_creativity/26-1-0-1491
In our schools, should we review the integrated programme or the gifted programme that delineated the student population along academic lines? Should the more academically inclined students help out in enrichment centres to assist the neighbourhood schools and co-mingle with the average students? Should the state continue to fund elite primary and secondary schools, or should we privatize them completely and let market forces determine the course of their curriculum? By doing so, we can assist to improve our entire education system en masse and mitigate the negative effects of elitism vs pluralism in our highly segmented society.

The Online Citizen. DPP's response to DPM Tharman’s interview. Retrieved from http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2013/04/dpps-response-dpm-tharmans-interview/
"Education

The National Solidarity Party agrees with the mandate to “teach less, learn more”.

The announced changes to the PSLE bring welcome change in the form of reduced emphasis on numerical scores.

However, it has not been explained how secondary school admissions will be implemented with the wider scoring band. The expansion of the Direct School Admissions scheme may also cause additional pressure for students to build extra-curricular portfolios in order to gain admission.

Additionally, it is crucial to steer learning attitudes towards the value of learning through processes and failures, than getting clear-cut answers through rote learning. The resilience of a workforce in an ideas-driven global economy will depend less on technical competencies, and more on the ability to solve problems in a creative and proactive fashion. We need to encourage a stronger growth mindset. Otherwise, we will continue to foster a workforce reliant on foreign companies for jobs instead of building domestic, homegrown job opportunities.

We also highlight the need for a streamlining of the operational procedures of the way schools are currently run. With only anecdotal evidence of how teachers suffer burnout and are subjected to alphabetical grading systems as well as high turnover rates, it is not possible for us to ascertain the extent to which the ministry intends to lessen the workload of teachers, and subsequently, to fill the gaping demand for this profession.
We urge the ministry to consider a fundamental shift in the professional scope of teachers, rather than to alleviate workloads through symptomatic tactics such as the introduction of co-form teachers." -http://nsp.sg/2013/08/22/nsp-response-to-the-national-day-rally/ "33. There is a need to carry out a total review of our education system, in particular, the dominating role played by the PSLE which has turned our primary school education into a rat race. An overly stressful education system in early years will not produce a population that will embrace knowledge for the love of knowledge, let alone life–long learning.

34. NSP is concerned that the current mindset of most of our students is to study for the sake of doing well in examinations and to clinch their desired job or career. Once they have achieved their objective, they begin to lose interest in acquiring knowledge and begin their pursuit of materialism and high living.

35. NSP believes that much can be done in terms of cultivating the love for knowledge in our children’s formative years through making learning an enjoyable and satisfying process. To that end, it may be meaningful to conduct a thorough review of our funding for scholarships and bursaries given to foreign students studying in Singapore, to expand the resources for our own students.

National Solidarity Party. NSP Statement on Singapore Budget 2015. http://nsp.sg/2015/03/12/nsp-statement-on-singapore-budget-2015/
On education, the Reform Party has repeatedly called for a reduction in the weighting given to PSLE in order to provide a more holistic education. We have also called for an abolishment of streaming at the early stages of education, between N levels and O levels as we want to offer opportunities for late bloomers who do poorly at PSLE to move up if they do well.

Reform Party. The Reform Party’s Response to the PM’s National Day Rally Speech. Retrieved from http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:XC5H9NRftpcJ:thereformparty.net/about/press-releases/the-reform-partys-response-to-the-pms-national-day-rally-speech/+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=sg
Last year, the Minister abolished the banding of secondary schools. I applaud this move towards removing such unhealthily stressful measures in school that detract from a wholesome educational experience. -http://www.spp.org.sg/budget-2013-moe-cut-psychological-care-for-students/ For example, the Singapore People’s Party has, over the years, consistently spoken out for the need for smaller class sizes, which would mean more resources channelled to each child. Can a teacher adequately address the needs of all his 43 students, compared to a teacher with 20 to 30 students? New batches of well-nurtured students will quickly emerge as more a competitive workforce for Singapore’s economy within 10 years. The payback time is not that long. We urge the government to rethink some of these fundamental educational principles. There are, of course, other issues on education including the examination-focused learning and lack of critical thinking in the syllabus.

Singapore People's Party. Speech in response to Budget 2013. Retrieved from http://www.spp.org.sg/speech-in-response-to-budget-2013/
No mention found
9
Singapore should lower the minimum withdrawal age for CPFLee Hsien Loong Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/leehsienloong/posts/739028282826547SingFirst Proposal: -Restore CPF withdrawal age at 55 - Old age pension of $300/month from age 60, provided by state - Increase return on CPF savings from 2.5% to actual return achieved on investment of CPF - Sell new HDB flats at cost to leave more CPF savings for retirement

SingFirst. GE Mythbuster 2 : Singapore cannot succeed without the PAP? Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/2015/08/06/ge-mythbuster-2-singapore-cannot-succeed-without-the-pap-2/
The SDA said it will "fight for optional schemes", giving people the choice of leaving their monies with the CPF Board or withdrawing it. "It is our money, our pension, our annuity – set aside for retirement’s purpose. As such, the monies should be managed by us and not compulsorily by anyone else, government or otherwise," it said in the manifesto.

The SDA also argued in its manifesto that Singaporeans should not be allowed to use CPF funds to purchase property. "The monies in CPF account should not be used for other purposes such as education and property purchase. This is to ensure that our people are well-taken care of and able to self-sustain when they are retired."

On healthcare, the SDA cited what it described as “a famous saying in Singapore” that “one may die but not afford to fall sick”.

The Opposition party proposed the full liberalisation of the CPF Medisave scheme, allowing Singaporeans to use funds in the account - without caps - to pay for all medical bills and also to pay for comprehensive medical coverage offered by private insurers.

Channel NewsAsia. SDA unveils manifesto, calling for a ‘Singapore for Singaporeans’. Retrieved from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/sda-unveils-manifesto/2065948.html
"We spend a lifetime building our CPF retirement fund. We certainly do not want to spend the remaining years of our life quibbling with the Government of the day on how to spend the rest of our hard-earned money after setting aside the Minimum Sum at age 55. Allowing the Board such broad power to impose conditions and restrictions on the withdrawal frequency of a member’s CPF account beyond what is legislated for retirement and medical use just doesn’t sound right." -

The Workers' Party Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/workersparty/posts/759303367419582
The raising of the CPF withdrawal age to 65 is nothing more than another ploy to delay returning the people’s hard-earned savings. -

Singapore Democratic Party. VIDEO: YOUR CPF IS YOUR MONEY. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/news/video_cpf/2015-08-28-6072
– CPF/retirement: the policy group recognised the new initiatives that the government has implemented over recent years in this area, but proposed a wider range of options and retirement savings programs that Singaporeans can choose from. They proposed to call on key leaders in the private sector insurance and investment industry, to come up with better investment and insurance schemes under the CPF structure, to fill in the current gaps in the CPF system.

Democratic Progressive Party. DPP Policy Working Group. Retrieved from http://www.dpp.sg/category/press-statement/
CPF Accounts – monies belong to members

14. Prior to the comment made by NMP Chia, it has never been suggested by anyone in Parliament that the monies in CPF accounts do not belong to the members absolutely.

15. Historically, the CPF regime started off as a pension scheme for our workforce during colonial times. It is a mandatory social security savings scheme and co-payments by employers are mandatory [6]. It was the scheme’s original intention that members, uponreaching the age of 55 years, will be paid all the monies in their CPF account as their retirement savings. And that includes the employer’s co-payments.

16. The government later began to supplement the CPF savings of lower wage workers through schemes such as Workfare and top-ups to Medisave to senior citizens. These top-ups, including those perceived to be “election goodies”, belong to the members once they are deposited into their CPF accounts. Any suggestion to the contrary would mean that these top-ups can be recovered by the government at any time and that is clearly not the case.

17. NSP understands that the greater concern of the people is the government’s subsequent open and unqualified acceptance of the speech made by NMP Chia. In particular, there is the worry that her suggestion may eventually become the official line and soon members will no longer own the monies in their CPF accounts. There is therefore a clear need for the government to provide an immediate clarification to reassure all CPF members before further public discourse on the subject degenerates into an unpleasant speculation on the CPF scheme’s future direction. - http://nsp.sg/2015/03/22/nsp-statement-on-the-value-of-national-service-and-ownership-of-cpf-monies/

National Solidarity Party. NSP Statement on the Value of National Service and Ownership of CPF monies. Retrieved from http://nsp.sg/2015/03/22/nsp-statement-on-the-value-of-national-service-and-ownership-of-cpf-monies/
KJ proposes to reform CPF to withdraw money at 55 and implement a minimum wage to replace Workfare.

The Reform Party Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/thereformparty/posts/10150290204901110

Unfairness of Current CPF Scheme

The Special Advisory Panel has not addressed this fundamental conflict of interest. Nor has it put right the broken promise to return our CPF at 55 or help middle- and low-income Singaporeans deal with financial hardship caused by the PAP policies of needless austerity.

It represents a form of taxation because Singaporeans’ savings are locked up till at least 55. Even then we cannot withdraw any money unless we have the minimum sum in our accounts or have a terminal illness. The interest rates paid are well below what we would be able to earn on AAA investments with similar restrictions on withdrawal.

...

In particular why are Singaporeans not allowed to withdraw their CPF in the Special and Ordinary Accounts at the age of 55 as was originally promised? It is not as though the withdrawal of the money will place a fiscal burden on the state.

...

The recommendation of the Special Advisory Panel to allow us to withdraw 20% of our CPF at 65 is totally inadequate.

Reform Party. CPF Needs Radical Reform Not Cosmetic Changes. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/about-2/press-releases/cpf-needs-radical-reform-not-cosmetic-changes/
Other possible proposals to be explored together include a greater degree of accountability as to how the government uses CPF monies that cannot be withdrawn by senior citizens due to an interplay of various CPF withdrawal rules and regulations. There could also be an “aged person”’s basket-of-goods identified that is used to calculate inflation rate measured against CPF interest rates.  With fast-rising medical costs, aged people’s expenditures with a higher weightage on medical costs face faster rates of inflation. -

Singapore People's Party. SPP Election Manifesto. Retrieved from http://archive.is/xLWE#selection-621.0-621.522
Raise the CPF returns or liberalize the system to allow Singaporeans to invest their own funds in appropriate trust funds or even directly into Temasek and GIC! To get this work effectively, basic financial management skills should be taught in our schools. If most Singaporeans are to be proficient in managing their own funds, I do not see why we should just settle for that miserable 2.5% from CPF. They could even withdraw their CPF at age 55 and manage their own funds for their own retirement if they can prove their proficiency in financial management!

Singapore Alternatives. PM Lee is a TOTAL Failure. Retrieved from http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.sg/2014/08/pm-lee-is-total-failure.html
10
Individuals should be given free access to CPF once they reach the withdrawal age. Lee Hsien Loong Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/leehsienloong/posts/739028282826547SingFirst Proposal: -Restore CPF withdrawal age at 55 - Old age pension of $300/month from age 60, provided by state - Increase return on CPF savings from 2.5% to actual return achieved on investment of CPF - Sell new HDB flats at cost to leave more CPF savings for retirement

SingFirst. GE Mythbuster 2 : Singapore cannot succeed without the PAP? Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/2015/08/06/ge-mythbuster-2-singapore-cannot-succeed-without-the-pap-2/
The SDA said it will "fight for optional schemes", giving people the choice of leaving their monies with the CPF Board or withdrawing it. "It is our money, our pension, our annuity – set aside for retirement’s purpose. As such, the monies should be managed by us and not compulsorily by anyone else, government or otherwise," it said in the manifesto.

The SDA also argued in its manifesto that Singaporeans should not be allowed to use CPF funds to purchase property. "The monies in CPF account should not be used for other purposes such as education and property purchase. This is to ensure that our people are well-taken care of and able to self-sustain when they are retired."

On healthcare, the SDA cited what it described as “a famous saying in Singapore” that “one may die but not afford to fall sick”.

The Opposition party proposed the full liberalisation of the CPF Medisave scheme, allowing Singaporeans to use funds in the account - without caps - to pay for all medical bills and also to pay for comprehensive medical coverage offered by private insurers.


Channel NewsAsia. SDA unveils manifesto, calling for a ‘Singapore for Singaporeans’. Retrieved from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/sda-unveils-manifesto/2065948.html
"We spend a lifetime building our CPF retirement fund. We certainly do not want to spend the remaining years of our life quibbling with the Government of the day on how to spend the rest of our hard-earned money after setting aside the Minimum Sum at age 55. Allowing the Board such broad power to impose conditions and restrictions on the withdrawal frequency of a member’s CPF account beyond what is legislated for retirement and medical use just doesn’t sound right." -

The Workers' Party Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/workersparty/posts/759303367419582
The raising of the CPF withdrawal age to 65 is nothing more than another ploy to delay returning the people’s hard-earned savings. -

Singapore Democratic Party. VIDEO: YOUR CPF IS YOUR MONEY. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/news/video_cpf/2015-08-28-6072
– CPF/retirement: the policy group recognised the new initiatives that the government has implemented over recent years in this area, but proposed a wider range of options and retirement savings programs that Singaporeans can choose from. They proposed to call on key leaders in the private sector insurance and investment industry, to come up with better investment and insurance schemes under the CPF structure, to fill in the current gaps in the CPF system.

Democratic Progressive Party. DPP Policy Working Group. Retrieved from http://www.dpp.sg/category/press-statement/
CPF Accounts – monies belong to members

14. Prior to the comment made by NMP Chia, it has never been suggested by anyone in Parliament that the monies in CPF accounts do not belong to the members absolutely.

15. Historically, the CPF regime started off as a pension scheme for our workforce during colonial times. It is a mandatory social security savings scheme and co-payments by employers are mandatory [6]. It was the scheme’s original intention that members, uponreaching the age of 55 years, will be paid all the monies in their CPF account as their retirement savings. And that includes the employer’s co-payments.

16. The government later began to supplement the CPF savings of lower wage workers through schemes such as Workfare and top-ups to Medisave to senior citizens. These top-ups, including those perceived to be “election goodies”, belong to the members once they are deposited into their CPF accounts. Any suggestion to the contrary would mean that these top-ups can be recovered by the government at any time and that is clearly not the case.

17. NSP understands that the greater concern of the people is the government’s subsequent open and unqualified acceptance of the speech made by NMP Chia. In particular, there is the worry that her suggestion may eventually become the official line and soon members will no longer own the monies in their CPF accounts. There is therefore a clear need for the government to provide an immediate clarification to reassure all CPF members before further public discourse on the subject degenerates into an unpleasant speculation on the CPF scheme’s future direction. - http://nsp.sg/2015/03/22/nsp-statement-on-the-value-of-national-service-and-ownership-of-cpf-monies/

National Solidarity Party. NSP Statement on the Value of National Service and Ownership of CPF monies. Retrieved from http://nsp.sg/2015/03/22/nsp-statement-on-the-value-of-national-service-and-ownership-of-cpf-monies/
Everyone should be allowed to either withdraw 100% of the money in their Special and Ordinary Accounts from, leave their money in or buy an annuity providing an income for life

Reform Party. CPF Needs Radical Reform Not Cosmetic Changes. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/about-2/press-releases/cpf-needs-radical-reform-not-cosmetic-changes/
Other possible proposals to be explored together include a greater degree of accountability as to how the government uses CPF monies that cannot be withdrawn by senior citizens due to an interplay of various CPF withdrawal rules and regulations. There could also be an “aged person”’s basket-of-goods identified that is used to calculate inflation rate measured against CPF interest rates.  With fast-rising medical costs, aged people’s expenditures with a higher weightage on medical costs face faster rates of inflation. -

Singapore People's Party. SPP Election Manifesto. Retrieved from http://archive.is/xLWE#selection-621.0-621.522
Raise the CPF returns or liberalize the system to allow Singaporeans to invest their own funds in appropriate trust funds or even directly into Temasek and GIC! To get this work effectively, basic financial management skills should be taught in our schools. If most Singaporeans are to be proficient in managing their own funds, I do not see why we should just settle for that miserable 2.5% from CPF. They could even withdraw their CPF at age 55 and manage their own funds for their own retirement if they can prove their proficiency in financial management!

Singapore Alternatives. PM Lee is a TOTAL Failure. Retrieved from http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.sg/2014/08/pm-lee-is-total-failure.html
11
CPF money should only be used for retirement purposes.One is to opt for the Basic Retirement Sum of $80,500, which would give monthly payouts of $650 to $700.

A person with the Basic Retirement Sum at age 55 would be able to see it grow to about $126,500 by the time they turn 65.

The second option is to keep it at the Full Retirement Sum of $161,000 for monthly payouts of $1,200 to $1,300. The Full Retirement Sum will grow to some $245,500 over 10 years.

Third, you can choose the Enhanced Retirement Sum of $241,500 for monthly payouts of $1,750 to $1,900. The Enhanced Retirement Sum will grow to around $364,500 over 10 years.

A lump sum withdrawal of up to 20 per cent of your retirement savings will also be allowed when you reach 65. http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/08/cpf-minimum-sum-now-s161000/One is to opt for the Basic Retirement Sum of $80,500, which would give monthly payouts of $650 to $700.

A person with the Basic Retirement Sum at age 55 would be able to see it grow to about $126,500 by the time they turn 65.

The second option is to keep it at the Full Retirement Sum of $161,000 for monthly payouts of $1,200 to $1,300. The Full Retirement Sum will grow to some $245,500 over 10 years.

Third, you can choose the Enhanced Retirement Sum of $241,500 for monthly payouts of $1,750 to $1,900. The Enhanced Retirement Sum will grow to around $364,500 over 10 years.

A lump sum withdrawal of up to 20 per cent of your retirement savings will also be allowed when you reach 65.

The Online Citizen. CPF Minimum Sum now S$161,000. Retrieved from http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2015/08/cpf-minimum-sum-now-s161000/
SingFirst Proposal: -Restore CPF withdrawal age at 55 - Old age pension of $300/month from age 60, provided by state - Increase return on CPF savings from 2.5% to actual return achieved on investment of CPF - Sell new HDB flats at cost to leave more CPF savings for retirement

SingFirst. GE Mythbuster 2 : Singapore cannot succeed without the PAP? Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/2015/08/06/ge-mythbuster-2-singapore-cannot-succeed-without-the-pap-2/
Secondly, SDA will fight for CPF to revert back to its basic, original use – a retirement account. As the costs of living is already on the rise as it is, coupled with inflation over the years – by the time most of us retire in a few decades, the money might be barely enough for our sustainability. Therefore the monies in CPF account should not be used for other purpose such as education and property purchase. This is to ensure that our people are well-taken care of and able to self-sustain when they are retired.

Singapore Democratic Party. SDA's General Election 2015 MANIFESTO. Retrieved from http://singaporedemocraticalliance.sg/sdas-general-election-2015-manifesto/
CPF should not be used as a tool to manage business costs in the economic downturn.

CPF should be re-focused towards providing for retirement. This will include housing needs.

Given that many individuals will not be able to save enough for retirement, society has a responsibility to ensure that those with insufficient resources are provided for through the use of public funds.

Citizens who are in dire financial straits should be allowed to withdraw from their own Central Provident Fund accounts. To avoid abuse, withdrawals must fulfill strict guidelines.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf
This is largely a result of the cutback of government expenditure. The shortfall in national spending is passed onto the people under the various CPF schemes which, as pointed out in a previous chapter, allowed, and even encouraged, people to make pre-retirement withdrawals to fund their education, medical care, and even investment ventures. This has drained the people of their retirement savings. Meanwhile, it is widely believed that reserves accrued from the CPF have been used by the government for investments outside Singapore. Returns on these portfolios are not made public, enabling the PAP government to withhold any profits earned from investments made using the people’s savings.

---

Return CPF savings in full
Retirees depend on their CPF savings to meet living expenses when they retire.

Withholding their savings through the Minimum Sum Scheme is not only impractical but also immoral. The scheme must be abolished and the savings returned to members when they retire. An “opt-in” clause should be introduced to allow retirees who want their CPF savings returned in instalments to have this done. This should, however, be done strictly on a voluntary basis. Any time a member wishes to end the arrangement and have the remainder of his/her savings returned in full, he/she should be able to do so.

Reduce the cost of HDB flats
The fact is that HDB flats have become too expensive for the majority of the population. The root of the problem lies in the PAP’s decision to turn CPF savings into a housing financing scheme. When it allowed CPF members to withdraw their compulsory savings for the purchase of HDB flats, homeownership increased dramatically. Therefore, one way to ensure that there are adequate CPF savings for retirement is to reduce HDB prices. A reduction in prices would mean less CPF savings used to service HDB loans. ...

---

The Life Insurance Association estimated that most Singaporeans use 80 to 90 percent of their CPF savings to finance their housing. Such a scenario has grave implications for the future of the economy as those of the baby-boomer generation retire in increasing numbers

Singapore Democratic Party. A New Economic Vision. Towards Innovation, Equal Opportunity, and Compassion. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/_ld/0/13_Economy_2.0.aa.pdf
– CPF/retirement: the policy group recognised the new initiatives that the government has implemented over recent years in this area, but proposed a wider range of options and retirement savings programs that Singaporeans can choose from. They proposed to call on key leaders in the private sector insurance and investment industry, to come up with better investment and insurance schemes under the CPF structure, to fill in the current gaps in the CPF system.

Democratic Progressive Party. DPP Policy Working Group. Retrieved from http://www.dpp.sg/category/press-statement/

--The issues faced by the sandwich class are still largely ignored. There has been an effort to relive the financial burden. To care for the aged and a young family takes up energy, time and emotional stress. This links back to live work balance, unreasonable expectations of employers and the lack of labour protection. The theory that each generation should pay its own way is not practiced in healthcare. The sandwich generation is expected to pay for the previous generation who were born before independence and have no CPF or retirement nest egg. We have to be mindful that the sandwich generation are largely not married and have no children. Who will pay for them ?

Democratic Progressive Party. Retrieved from DPP Manifesto 30 march 2013. http://www.dpp.sg/manifesto/
CPF Accounts – monies belong to members

14. Prior to the comment made by NMP Chia, it has never been suggested by anyone in Parliament that the monies in CPF accounts do not belong to the members absolutely.

15. Historically, the CPF regime started off as a pension scheme for our workforce during colonial times. It is a mandatory social security savings scheme and co-payments by employers are mandatory [6]. It was the scheme’s original intention that members, uponreaching the age of 55 years, will be paid all the monies in their CPF account as their retirement savings. And that includes the employer’s co-payments.

16. The government later began to supplement the CPF savings of lower wage workers through schemes such as Workfare and top-ups to Medisave to senior citizens. These top-ups, including those perceived to be “election goodies”, belong to the members once they are deposited into their CPF accounts. Any suggestion to the contrary would mean that these top-ups can be recovered by the government at any time and that is clearly not the case.

17. NSP understands that the greater concern of the people is the government’s subsequent open and unqualified acceptance of the speech made by NMP Chia. In particular, there is the worry that her suggestion may eventually become the official line and soon members will no longer own the monies in their CPF accounts. There is therefore a clear need for the government to provide an immediate clarification to reassure all CPF members before further public discourse on the subject degenerates into an unpleasant speculation on the CPF scheme’s future direction. - http://nsp.sg/2015/03/22/nsp-statement-on-the-value-of-national-service-and-ownership-of-cpf-monies/

National Solidarity Party. NSP Statement on the Value of National Service and Ownership of CPF monies. Retrieved from http://nsp.sg/2015/03/22/nsp-statement-on-the-value-of-national-service-and-ownership-of-cpf-monies/
Reform of CPF to make contributions above those necessary to fund health and unemployment insurance and basic pension voluntary.

Reform Party. RP Election Manifesto. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/election-manifesto-2/
CPF

The government appears to be offsetting the effect of increased interests for CPF accounts (for the first $30,000 in CPF accounts from the age of 55) by increasing the contributions of employees aged 55-65 (for both employees and employers). In toto, we believe this signifies the government’s intention to stick to a conservative approach to the CPF. We continue to urge the government towards more flexible options for the usage of CPF savings. This is increasingly because Singaporeans, starting from their late 50s, cannot afford to be cash-strapped. -http://www.spp.org.sg/budget-2015/ The SPP also agrees that enhancing retirement is key. Raising the CPF minimum sum is not the only way – it makes retirement tougher. Many Singaporeans are also deeply unhappy about the compulsory annuity CPF scheme. We need alternative retirement schemes to build an inclusive society. Singapore needs a complex mix of policies, such as alternative investment options to ensure a sufficient pool of funds in CPF.

Singapore People's Party. How can we develop true empathy? (SPP’s response to the President’s Address, 16 May 2014). Retrieved from http://www.spp.org.sg/how-can-we-develop-true-empathy-spps-response-to-the-presidents-address-16-may-2014/
PAP is the MAIN Culprit in creating the situation of inadequate CPF for your retirement financing via their flawed policies in public housing, healthcare and investment returns from our sovereign funds. But in the end, instead of addressing these issues effectively, they turn around and say the best they can do is to help you to sell your HDB flat.

Singapore Alternatives. PM Lee is a TOTAL Failure. Retrieved from http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.sg/2014/08/pm-lee-is-total-failure.html
12
The government should increase welfare spending.Is a big fan of it!
Financial Review. Singapore's Lee boosts welfare spending ahead of critical polls. Retrieved from http://www.afr.com/news/world/singapores-lee-boosts-welfare-spending-ahead-of-critical-polls-20150823-gj5y9x
There is no social safety net of any significance to provide assistance. Once a person loses a job, he loses everything – no unemployment insurance, no healthcare, no savings for retirement. All this adds to the emotional insecurity and a lowered sense of self-esteem.
A strong safety net will prevent Singaporeans from falling into insecurity, despair and indignity. This safety net must have three basic elements namely
• truly affordable universal and comprehensive healthcare insurance
• unemployment insurance and
• an old age pension provided by the state outside of the inadequate CPF.

SingFirst. Manifesto in English. Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/manifesto-in-english/

Just before the recent National Budget was presented by the DPM and Finance Minister, SingFirst proposed a comprehensive social package for Singaporeans consisting of a $6 billion social security net and an $8 billion social investment programme. The social security net will provide free education to all Singaporeans, from primary school to university, monthly cash allowances to children up to the age of 12, 90% subsidy on childcare centre fees, substantial transport allownaces, old age pension of monthly cash allowances to all senior Singaporeans aged 60 and above, huge increase in healthcare subsidy, unemployment insurance benefits and phasing out of GST. Our social investment proposal will mean more schools, hospitals, childcare centres, nursing homes rather than portfolio investment in overseas projects or companies like foreign banks, beauty product companies which do not generate jobs for Singaporeans nor businesses for our local companies.

SingFirst. Retrieved from SingFirst Dinner Part 4 – Speech by Tan Jee Say. Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/2015/04/15/singfirst-dinner-part-2-speech-by-tan-jee-say/
We will advocate the same rights, benefits, grants and welfare for single parents so that they can support their children and continue to play dual parental roles to the children.We will advocate the same rights, benefits, grants and welfare for single parents so that they can support their children and continue to play dual parental roles to the children.

Singapore Democratic Party. SDA's General Election 2015 MANIFESTO. Retrieved from http://singaporedemocraticalliance.sg/sdas-general-election-2015-manifesto/
The government’s minimalist approach to social welfare, in particular its rigid emphasis on family as the first line of defence, has caused much stress to poor and sandwiched Singaporeans.

The society, as a whole, must direct resources to support the underprivileged.

The government has the obligation to protect and provide for vulnerable groups of people, especially the poor.

The government must provide needs-based social welfare to ensure that no one who needs help is left stranded. Social workers should be given discretion to assess each case on its merits. Although it may mean that more resources and effort will be needed to examine some cases, no citizen in need should be deprived of assistance.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf
Increase social spending.
To ensure that the needy and elderly segments of the population are not neglected, the SDP plan proposes that the national budget be reconfigured to expand the social safety net. It will implement a Family Credit Fund which will be used to top up to $2,300 the income of all households of two or more persons that have at least one member of the household working full-time and whose monthly disposable income falls below $2,000. A qualifying income sliding scale will be applied. The initiative will replace all subsidies and credits currently dispensed by the government. This Fund will be phased out once a national minimum wage is rolled out across the workforce.

In FY 2009 $14.9 billion (34.3 percent) of the total budget expenditure of $43.6 billion was allocated to defence, internal security and foreign affairs. The Ministry of Community Development, Youths and Sports, charged with handling social welfare programmes, on the other hand, was allocated only $1.95 billion of the total budget. This amount included expenditure on sports. Only $110.2 million, or 0.25 percent, of the total budget was put aside to help the needy. $97.2 million was set aside for juvenile delinquency programs, and $42.1 million spared for social assistance to the elderly and disabled. In 2010, the PAP government allocated an operating budget of $93.67 million for Rehabilitation, Protection and Residential Services Programme, which includes the running of centres for disadvantaged children, the destitute, dysfunctional families, mentally handicapped, and elderly. Compare this amount to the $11.5 billion spent just on defence.

The solution is simple: The government must increase national expenditure on the aged and retired. In addition, the Public Assistance Scheme (PAS) will be increased for all qualifying persons to S$1,150 per household. Much more can be done to help the weakest and most vulnerable segments in our society. We boast of being one of the world’s richest economies but if this is the way we take care of our poor, then there is nothing for us to be proud about. Even if we double or triple the expenditure for the PAS, we would still be spending only a fraction of our national budget to help the poor. And as far as public transportation is concerned, senior citizens over 65 years of age will have free bus and MRT rides during off-peak periods and 50 percent concessions during peak periods. Special taxi services should be introduced which will provide free transportation to the elderly (over 80 years old) and physically disabled persons for the purposes of travel for essential medical appointments. (For a more detailed description of this subject, please see the SDP Shadow Budgets for 2012 and 2013.)

The PAP government has adopted the neo-liberal ideology and, through the decades, drummed into the people’s minds that social welfare will produce a lazy and indulgent people, and cause the ultimate ruin of our society. The truth is quite the opposite. A population watching the callous and uncaring way its country treats the weakest among us—and being unable to do anything about it —will not be inspired to work towards a better future. Ultimately, caring for those who are unable to care for themselves is a human trait—and a highly desirable one.

Singapore Democratic Party. A New Economic Vision. Towards Innovation, Equal Opportunity, and Compassion. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/_ld/0/13_Economy_2.0.aa.pdf
A country’s yearly Budget is not only about giving one-off monetary hand-outs that last the year till the next year’s Budget. A country’s yearly Budget must be about how a Government apportions expenditure of tax-payers’ money in ways that address the country’s medium-to-longterm political, social, economic and other challenges.

In this year’s Budget, there are many “goodies” in terms of cash handouts of various forms. Whilst Singaporeans may rejoice in the immediate and short-term relief these bring, the larger question is whether these “goodies” actually lead to real and substantive positive and sustainable impact on long-term challenges.

..."All-in-all, we at the Democratic Progressive Party of Singapore, call for a Budget that:

– creates higher-value jobs for the middle-and-lower income, elderly and marginalised in society

– increases productivity, competitiveness and long-term self-sustainability of local SMEs, which in turn builds a long-term self-sustainable economy for Singapore

– greater investment in public goods, like public infrastructure, public transportation, public healthcare, etc that can be shared and benefitted by the majority in society (especially the middle-to-lower income groups), and lead to lowering not increasing of cost-of-public-goods to the common man

– a longer term sustainable national wealth re-distribution from the very rich down to the sandwiched middle-class and further down to the poor and marginalised. This should not be designed designed as annual-Budget-to-annual-Budget cash handouts and incentives, but as a self-sustaining, self-operating systemic wealth re-distribution set of policies in job creation, minimum wages, affordable public services, etc."

Democratic Progressive Party. DPP Response to Budget 2015. Retrieved from http://www.dpp.sg/dpp-response-to-budget-2015/

Social spending

It is encouraging to note that the government ia doing for the lowest percentile of the needy in Singapore. However, as our Gini co-efficient rises and social inequality becomes a pressing issue worldwide, it is imperative for Singapore to take the lead in lessening this inequality and creating a successful case for other countries to emulate, as they have with our economic success story.

This can be approached two ways. First, Singapore has earlier espoused a Swiss Standard of living promised to Singaporeans in the early 1990s. It is now time for us to define what a Singapore Standard of living should be. The government needs to look into re-defining a poverty line that is unique to Singapore, to ensure that no citizen will be left behind as our country becomes richer in its pursuit of economic growth.

Secondly, more can be allocated to social expenditure.

NSP’s budget 2013 response earlier raised this issue, citing that development expenditure versus operating expenditure has been dropping. While the population has grown by 45% from 1996–2012, development expenditure has only increased by 34%. We call on the government to adjust the development budget to invest even further in social spending and public infrastructure such as housing, healthcare and transportation.

We strongly believe that the government can afford to spend more on its people, and it can most definitely afford to do so without falling into the welfare trap.

National Solidarity Party. National Solidarity Party’s response to the National Day Rally Speech 2013. Retrieved from http://nsp.sg/2013/08/22/nsp-response-to-the-national-day-rally/
Despite their low wages, Singaporeans get little or no help from their Government. The PAP is fond of saying that Singaporeans are lucky because taxes are so low. But that really only applies to the top 5% or so of Singaporeans. Workers in other advanced countries in Europe and North America also pay little tax. But they receive far more in benefits from their Government including subsidised or free healthcare, old age pensions, genuinely free education frequently up to university level, unemployment, child and disability benefits and no minimum wage. While it is important not to remove the incentive to work through overly generous welfare Singapore has gone completely the other way. The PAP Government runs huge surpluses running into tens of billions of dollars but spends one of the lowest proportions of GDP on healthcare and education among advanced countries.

Reform Party. Reform Party National Day Message 2015. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/about-2/press-releases/reform-party-national-day-message-2015/
“Yesterday NMP Miss Chia Yong Yong cautioned not to lean too much to the left lest we have nothing much left in social spending. While this idea seems intuitively correct and is consistent with the popular narrative of the economy, but I would also like to point out , that between countries like Sweden which spends about 30% of their GDP on social spending and others like Hong Kong which spends about 3%, there is a middle path. Finding the middle path is what Singapore has to get right
The need to raise revenue to meet the rising social spending though is real

Singapore People's Party. NCMP Lina Chiam: Parliamentary speech on Budget 2015. Retrieved from http://www.spp.org.sg/budget-2015/
The Party believes that Singapore needs a capitalistic market economic system but such system must be moderated by Socialistic measures so to prevent eventual social instability caused by the inevitable income and wealth inequality and disparity caused by such capitalistic system.

People's Power Party. Core Values and Ideology. Retrieved from http://majulahsingapura.com/core-values-and-ideology/
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The government should increase taxes on the rich.Top income earners will have to pay more personal income taxes starting 2017, announced Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in his Budget address today. In Singapore, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s government last week announced its first increase in decades to the top income tax rate, to help pay for a new benefit for low-income elderly.

TODAYOnline. Budget 2015: Higher income taxes for Singapore’s top 5%. Retrieved from http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/higher-income-taxes-singapores-top-5
SingaporeansFirst will remake society with policies that turn us into masters, not slaves, of economic growth. We will always put the interests and well-being of people first before the pursuit of economic growth. We will create a fair society with new policies to rejuvenate the economy and generate good jobs that pay fair living wages. At the same time, we will strengthen welfare services comprehensively and significantly in healthcare, education, housing and transport. Our current tax regime is highly regressive with low corporate and personal income taxes on the one hand, and high indirect taxes on the other. A progressive tax system is more equitable and fair as it will allow the better off to repay, through higher taxes, benefits received from others. However we do not envisage any need for it in at least the next ten years even when we increase social spending substantially. Instead we will make our tax system less regressive by removing the Goods and Services Tax. The GST imposes an unfair burden on middle and lower income Singaporeans as it raises their basic cost of living significantly. We do not see the need to impose new taxes in other areas to make up for the loss of the GST revenue.

SingFirst. Manifesto in English. Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/manifesto-in-english/
No mention foundThere should be a re-distribution of wealth through fiscal and tax measures and social policy to ensure that the fruits of the economy are shared equitably.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf
Recalibrate the tax structure
The current tax rate for individuals in Singapore is capped at 20 percent. This rate has allowed the wealthiest in the country to get richer despite the fact that those earning below $20,000 per annum are not taxed on their income.

Table 4 shows that countries where the Gini coefficient is smaller (that is, the income gap is narrower), personal income taxes for the wealthiest tend to be higher. Singapore and Hong Kong have the lowest personal income tax rates for top income bracket. However, they are also the most unequal when it comes to the rich-poor divide. On the other hand, countries with higher income taxes for the richest individuals tend to have more egalitarian economies, as reflected in their Gini coefficients.

Associate Professor Aneel Karnani of the University of Michigan’s Business School, who was invited to Singapore for a lecture in 2011, commented: “The sense I get is that Singapore has focused too much on growing the size of its economic pie and not enough on distributing it.”24 He advised that the government temper inequality, even though it hurts economic efficiency to a certain extent, and advocated progressive taxation where wealthy individuals and corporations are taxed at a higher rate to help the poor “gain access to better services and opportunities.” He also noted that Singapore’s highest personal income tax rates were cut from 28 percent in 2002 to 20 percent in 2007, which makes it one of the lowest in the developed world. This has resulted in those earning $320,000 annually paying the same tax rate as those earning 10 times more. “We can have progressive taxation without killing entrepreneurship or incentive,” the professor says. “Taxes can go up to 30-40 percent. In Western countries, the rich don’t say that because taxes are 30 per cent, I will stop working.”

Under the SDP’s programme, Singapore’s tax bracket for the top 1 percent earners— those with incomes that average $700,000 a year—will be returned to 28 percent, closer to the levels in Canada, Germany, Japan, and so on.25 The increment would be phased in over five years with a 2 percent increase annually. The increased revenue collected from higher tax rates would go towards funding RESTART.

In addition, we should lower and vary the GST rate for different goods. Basic food items as well as other basic necessities should not be taxed while GST for luxury items should be increased. Currently, a wealthy individual who buys a 20-carat diamond for his daughter pays the same rate of 7 percent GST as the cleaner who buys a bag of rice for his family. Common sense dictates that a more equitable tax structure is needed. In 2008, the PAP government abruptly abolished taxes on estate duty. Inheritances are taxed when individuals die and pass on their possessions. The philosophy behind such a tax is that while society must encourage diligence and enterprise of individuals by allowing them to keep and save as much as they can, recipients of their wealth after they pass away may or may not deserve all the riches. The SDP plan proposes the reinstatement of the estate duty tax with the exemption threshold of $20 million,26 both for citizens and non-citizens. Again, revenue from such a tax can be used to fund welfare programmes for the needy.

Singapore Democratic Party. A New Economic Vision. Towards Innovation, Equal Opportunity, and Compassion. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/_ld/0/13_Economy_2.0.aa.pdf
Higher taxes for top 5 percent income earners from 2017 does indeed give a “Robin Hood” flavour to the Budget. But the real question is, where and how will this increased tax revenue be distributed and spent on, and will it lead to a greater re-distribution of real financial wealth downwards to the middle and lower income groups?

Or will the funds go towards other government expenditures that end up benefiting the rich and upper-middle class, and end up squeezing the middle and lower class even more?

Democratic Progressive Party. DPP Response to Budget 2015. Retrieved from http://www.dpp.sg/dpp-response-to-budget-2015/
"""Higher taxes for top income earners but Higher Petrol Duty – Indirectly taxing the lower income group
9. NSP sees the increase in the personal income tax for high income earners as a step taken towards more progressivity in taxes. This is a sign of the recognition and acceptance by the government of the need to look at income redistribution so as to address the undesirable effects of a serious widening income gap.

10. Singapore’s income inequality is amongst the highest in the world [4] and a continuing effort is required to narrow the gap. The increase in the personal income tax rate of the top 5% of income earners takes effect from 2017 is one small measure but necessary. NSP believes that more effective measures can be taken by the government to lessen the income divide.""

National Solidarity Party. NSP Statement on Singapore Budget 2015. http://nsp.sg/2015/03/12/nsp-statement-on-singapore-budget-2015/
Reductions in or exemptions from GST for certain categories of goods like food that form a higher proportion of total expenditure for those on median incomes and below.

---

In a democracy parties that implement zombie economic policies that have long outlived their usefulness should get voted out by the electorate and replaced by parties with fresh ideas like the Reform Party. We need a new economic compact with a real emphasis on productivity as the driver of economic growth and intelligent curbs on cheap foreign labour. We need to secure for Singaporeans a fairer distribution of the national wealth by redistributing some of the massive wealth hoarded by the PAP Government. Unless the Government is lying about the amount of wealth it controls we can do this without adopting a high tax regime which might damage Singapore’s competitiveness.

Reform Party. Reform Party National Day Message 2015. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/about-2/press-releases/reform-party-national-day-message-2015/
The need to raise revenue to meet the rising social spending though is real for the Government and it should consider the following measures:

1. Raise the top-marginal income tax rate to 25 percent. This would still be one of the lowest top-marginal income tax rate in the world and at the same time would raise a revenue of 500 million – 1 billion. The Finance Minister said that the change to top income rates is expected to raise additional revenue of $400 million per year when it comes into effect. So if it is raised by a further 3 per cent , the additional revenue would be about $1 billion. Re-instate Estate Duty at 5% for total assets (without differentiating between residential properties or other assets) between $10m to $15m, and 10% for amounts above that.3. Raise the casino tax rates to 22.5% for non-premium players and 7.5% for premium players.4. Include capital receipts (which include revenue from sales of land and capital goods and other capital receipts) as revenue receipt.

Singapore People's Party. NCMP Lina Chiam: Parliamentary speech on Budget 2015. Retrieved from http://www.spp.org.sg/budget-2015/
No mention found
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Singapore should establish a minimum wage."Why Workfare instead of a minimum wage? Tan Chuan-Jin explains". Channel News Asia. Retrieved from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/specialreports/sgvotes2015/latest/why-workfare-instead-of-a/2100228.html.

"My belief has been that a minimum wage is not going to solve the problem. If it is modest, it won’t do harm, neither will it do a lot of good. If it is high, well, then it is going to cause costs to employers and it is going to cause unemployment to the low-wage workers. So you are not really solving his problem, you are just going to transfer it somewhere else." publichouse.sg Facebook Page. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/publichousesg/posts/474892809271407
“there must be priority for hiring Singaporeans, a fair wage including a reasonable minimum wage and non-discriminatory employment practices that take into account the CPF contributions of Singaporean workers and the military reservist liabilities of male Singaporeans. When these conditions are in place, Singaporean workers will cease to be losers compared to foreign workers, and will emerge as winners. SingFirst has plans to make this happen and will announce its proposals in due course.”

The Heart Truths. Vote Opposition to Protect Singaporeans. Vote for Your Future. Retrieved from http://thehearttruths.com/2015/06/23/vote-opposition-to-protect-singaporeans-vote-for-your-future/
The SDA supports the legislation of a Minimum Wage Law. This is to help the citizens in coping with the country’s high costs of living, which are constantly on the rise. By supporting the minimum wage law, citizens are assured of receiving income that are on par with the current minimum real living wage. A minimum wage scheme will also boost the economy as well as eliminate the risk of discrimination of different job roles.

By imposing a Minimum Wage scheme, citizens are free to pursue their passion as careers. This would ease the pressure of societal stereotyping of the white-collar employees being more superior to the blue-collar workers, and erase the thought that working with brains is more important than working with one’s hands. People can take pride in their work then, whether they choose to become a technician, cook or retailer, and find greater satisfaction in their jobs. This would in turn boost productivity and the economy gradually, and at the same time offer more choices for Singaporeans instead of being dependent on foreigners to take on job roles in certain industries.

The income gap in Singapore would also be reduced significantly, keeping at bay the risk of middle-income earners suffering from the brunt of the high costs of living.

Singapore Democratic Party. SDA's General Election 2015 MANIFESTO. Retrieved from http://singaporedemocraticalliance.sg/sdas-general-election-2015-manifesto/
Second, on Workfare, which is a wage supplement for low wage workers. The Workers’ Party supports Workfare. We are not proposing that the minimum wage replaces Workfare, but complements it.

A minimum wage together with Workfare will ensure that both employers and the government do their part to uplift the incomes of our low wage workers. A worker on the minimum wage should still continue receiving Workfare, although the Workers’ Party proposes that we double the cash proportion of Workfare so that workers have more disposable income to spend on their daily needs.

Workers' Party. Gerald Giam’s Rally Speech, Yishun Stadium Rally, 4 Sep. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/gerald-giams-rally-speech-yishun-stadium-rally-4-sep/

The incomes of the bottom 20% of households have seen a decrease in the past decade, in contrast to a more than 50% increase for the top 20% of households. The wage gap between the top and bottom income earners has also widened from a decade ago. In 2009, the top 20% of households earned 12.7 times the income of the bottom 20%, which is one of the highest income gaps in the world.

The current situation of high and increasing cost of living paired with stagnant low wages is not just a by-product of globalisation which the government has no control over. The influx of foreign labour into our country has depressed the wages of many workers.

The Workers’ Party has, on numerous occasions, pressed the government to assist lower-income workers, either by helping them to cope with the increased cost of living, or to upgrade their skills and improve their employment opportunities. We have also stressed the need to have a strong social safety net in place for lower-income Singaporeans. We welcome the introduction of the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme.

WP strongly advocates uplifting the wages and welfare of lower-income Singaporeans.

Wages must keep pace with the increasing cost of living. Every Singaporean who is employed should receive an income that is sufficient for a decent and dignified life.

The Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) should be expanded to better narrow the income gap. There should not be a minimum 3-month work requirement to qualify for WIS. WIS should be paid out for every month that the worker remains employed, instead of the current half-yearly or yearly payouts. This will be more effective in helping them meet their monthly expenses.

WIS payments should be increased so as to benchmark against the cost of living and an income sufficient for a decent and dignified life in Singapore. The major portion of WIS payments should be in cash.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf

Recommended Minimum Wage (RMW)
While I believe that skills training and upgrading as well as productivity growth should have some effect in uplifting the income of some low wage workers over time, I am of the view that we should track these strategies closely to determine if they are sufficient and effective overall and not denounce the option of minimum wage too soon.

I believe not all job processes can be significantly improved to a desired productivity level to enable a worker to be paid fairly according to the value of the work done. I am also skeptical that Continuing Education and Training (CET) will eventually equip all workers with sophisticated skill sets to command higher wages.

There will come a day when Singapore will achieve significant productivity growth and skill efficiency to move up the economic value chain. When that day arrives, can our low skill workers catch up and move up the value chain as well? Based on historical data, the wages of these workers may be left stagnant again as I have highlighted in this house before. When that happens, we may have to consider a minimum wage policy.

I would like to state that the Workers’ Party is not advocating the introduction of a minimum wage at this point of time. It would be preferred if our workers can command good wages by being competitive internationally and doing higher value work. However, if our low wage workers are still not uplifted despite the efforts of productivity growth and CET, minimum wages may have to be considered.

The government has incentivized innovation and productivity improvements. It hopes that various industries can show progress in these areas. Since the aim of all these efforts is to uplift wages, the government should work with the various industries to set tangible wage benchmarks for workers to strive towards.

I propose a Recommended Minimum Wage (RMW) Advisory Board to be set up by the Government to undertake research on the recommended minimum wage for specific industries in consultation with employers and unions.

Recommended Minimum Wage can provide a tangible benchmark for the labour market to follow. It can also prevent the exploitation of labour. More importantly, it will spur the employee to upgrade his skill over time in order to reach a desired wage target. Employees will also know which employers are grossly underpaying their staff or have not upgraded their work processes.

RMW will also push employers to raise productivity in the long run. Employers who consistently underpay their workers will find it hard to hire good hands.

Workers' Party. Speech on Motion on Inclusive Growth. Retrieved from http://v1.wp.sg/2011/01/speech-on-motion-on-inclusive-growth/

A minimum wage aims to protect employees from exploitation and enables them to afford the basic necessities of life. But critics say it makes lower skilled workers uncompetitive, resulting in job losses as companies move overseas or hire fewer workers.
There is no national minimum wage in Singapore. Salaries are subject to negotiation and mutual agreement between employers and employees or the trade union representing the employees.
However, the wages of those in the lowest income group are not enough to cope with the high cost of living in Singapore. According to the Household Expenditure Survey, there are almost 85,000 resident households with a monthly income of less than $1,000. Yet these households spend an average of $1,461 per month – or 46% more than they earn.[1]
The Progressive Wage Model is being implemented for the cleaning and security sectors, and soon the landscaping sector. However, these are not the only sectors which suffer from the malaise of low wages. Low wage jobs can be found in other domestic-oriented sectors like F&B, retail and personal services. In these sectors, jobs are usually performed locally, for customers who are in Singapore, so there is less risk that such jobs will move overseas even if wages rise.
The Finance Minister pointed out in his Budget Statement that productivity growth in the domestic-oriented sector is less than a fifth of that for outward-oriented sectors, yet employment growth has been mainly in the former. This lends weight to the need for these sectors to be upgraded to improve their productivity.
I urge the Government to look into introducing sectoral minimum wages under the Progressive Wage Model to more domestic-oriented industry sectors, so as to ensure that Singaporeans in those sectors are paid wages that are enough for themselves and their families to live on.

Workers' Party. COS 2015 Debate: MOM – Sectoral Minimum Wages. Retrieved from http://v1.wp.sg/2015/03/cos-2015-debate-mom-sectoral-minimum-wages-ncmp-gerald-giam/
Reduce income inequality. As Singapore’s GDP growth rate rises, so has income inequality and poverty in the country. To ensure that workers are not exploited, we propose the legislation of a national minimum wage. Retrenchment insurance will also be introduced to provide retrenched workers with support while they look for reemployment.

...

SDP’s proposal for a minimum wage law

Minimum wage (the lowest level of wages an employer may legally pay an employee) is an important policy tool that balances the needs of an economy with those of low-income workers so that economic growth occurs in a just and sustainable manner. A wage structure that is out of kilter with the cost of living and productivity is inimical to longterm growth.

The government will establish a Wage Equity Commission (WEC) that will recommend to the government the minimum wage level in Singapore. This will be done by building consensus from all stakeholders through an evidence-based approach and public consultation. The WEC will comprise representatives from trade unions, chambers of commerce, professional associations, social work organisations, and academe. The determination of the minimum wage level will be based on a basket of factors including the cost of living index and inflation rate. Based on a wage level that would allow a worker working full-time (44 hours per week) to afford basic necessities, the SDP recommends the official minimum wage to be $7 per hour or $1,232 per month. This amount would be applicable to the lowest of the low-wage income earners and subject to review commensurate with the rise in the cost of living.

Singapore Democratic Party. A New Economic Vision. Towards Innovation, Equal Opportunity, and Compassion. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/_ld/0/13_Economy_2.0.aa.pdf
There are effective models in developed economies where there are no minimum wage like in Denmark and Norway. In these countries, labour unions negotiate with employers regarding fair wage. In support of having a non-confrontational labour climate, the government should negotiate through TAFEP to benchmark decent wages in all clusters.

Democratic Progressive Party. Retrieved from DPP Manifesto 30 march 2013. http://www.dpp.sg/manifesto/
Employment
Singapore citizens should be given priority in Employment
The provision and design of Government-initiated Productivity & Skilled Training programmes should focused more on upgrading of The local workforce.
Minimum wage policy -

2o121ihace. National Solidarity Party. http://2o121ihace.wiki.hci.edu.sg/National+Solidarity+Party
Guaranteed Minimum Income for those in work to replace current Workfare system and to be integrated with child benefit and tax system.
A Minimum Wage to encourage businesses to raise productivity.

Reform Party. RP Election Manifesto. Retrieved from http://reform.sg/election-manifesto-2/
The Singapore People’s Party had once said: “As if it is not bad enough to have a nanny state government that grows at all cost, our government refuses to install a minimum wage for low wage workers. Yet, there is in effect a minimum wage for senior civil servants and political leaders – we are referring to the pay benchmarks of our leaders.”

The Heart Truths. Vote Opposition to Protect Singaporeans. Vote for Your Future. Retrieved from http://thehearttruths.com/2015/06/23/vote-opposition-to-protect-singaporeans-vote-for-your-future/
Most probably they won't know how the poor live their lives with foreign labour displacing them while thinking that all of them are lazy that is why they are in poverty. They won't support minimum wage because they are made to believe minimum wage is bad.


People's Power Party - PPP Facebook page. Retrieved from ttps://www.facebook.com/peoplespowerpartysg/posts/951487568225805
15
The government should abolish racial quotas for housing estates."However, this situation was not permanent. Residents who had bought HDB flats could sell their flats after a minimum occupation period, and perhaps buy another one on the resale market. Gradually the races began to regroup in different estates, and concentrations started forming again. We decided that we could not afford to go back to the same problem as before, as this time we would have no second chance to reshuffle the deck. Hence in 1989, the Government implemented the Ethnic Integration Policy, which set limits on the maximum proportions for the respective ethnic groups allowed in each HDB neighbourhood and block. This drastic move has been effective in preventing the re-formation of racial enclaves, and encouraging the different races to interact and forge links with one another.

Prime Minister's Office. Address by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Gala Dinner for the International Housing Conference on Tuesday, 26 January 2010. Retrieved from http://www.pmo.gov.sg/mediacentre/address-prime-minister-lee-hsien-loong-gala-dinner-international-housing-conference
No mention foundNo mentionAs our society has now attained a level of multi-racial integration, the ethnic quotas governing home ownership of HDB flats should be removed to allow all Singaporeans freedom of choice of home locations, regardless of race. The ethnic quota system also contradicts the policy of encouraging young families to live close to their parents, and can prevent young Malay and Indian families from buying homes close to their parents’.

Workers' Party. Manifesto - The Workers' Party of Singapore. Retrieved from http://www.wp.sg/Workers-Party-Manifesto-2011.pdf
Strengthen the Singaporean Identity

 To strengthen our national identity, the Ethnic Integration Policy which determines the percentage of ethnic HDB dwellers in each estate should be abolished. The identification of “race” on our Identity Cards should also be removed.



Singapore Democratic Party. SDP'S ALTERNATIVES: OUR POPULATION. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/publ/sdp_39_s_alternatives/our_population/44
No mention foundNo mention foundNo mention foundNo mention foundNo mention found
16
Ministerial salaries should be significantly reduced.The Online Citizen. We want “realistic and correct salaries” in government: Lee Hsien Loong. Retrieved from http://www.theonlinecitizen.com/2014/11/we-want-realistic-and-correct-salaries-in-government-lee-hsien-loong/It is time that we have a new salary formula that is rooted in a deep sense of public service rather than an entitlement of high living based on personal greed. Greed shows through when PAP benchmarks

their salaries to the top 1000 earners! That’s the elite band of income.

SingFirst. Summary of SingFirst 2nd Public Dialogue. Ministerial Salary: For Greed or Country? Retrieved from http://singfirst.org/2015/07/20/summary-of-singfirst-2nd-public-dialogue-ministerial-salary-for-greed-or-country/
No mentionSINGAPORE: The Workers' Party (WP) said the recommendations of the Committee to Review Ministerial Salaries are a step in the right direction towards grounding political leaders with a stronger sense of public service and mission.

It hopes Ministers and MPs will see political office primarily as a noble undertaking which allows them to improve the lives of fellow Singaporeans, rather than as a career option to be weighed against high-earning individuals in the private sector.

However, it said the Committee's proposal to peg ministers' salaries to the 1,000 top income earners has created a flawed formula.

It said these individuals make up just 0.06 per cent of the workforce and are unrepresentative of the general population.

The incomes of these "super-rich" Singaporeans generally rise much faster than the rest of the population, potentially escalating the salaries of ministers in subsequent years.

Rather than an approach that assumes top earners are also top talent, WP recommends a whole-of-government, people-up approach to determining ministerial salaries.

Channels NewsAsia. Proposed ministerial pay formula "flawed": Workers' Party. Retrieved from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/specialreports/parliament/news/proposed-ministerial-pay-formula--flawed---workers--party/178968.html
Alongside amore coherent and comprehensive measure of wellbeing such as the GPI, the remunerative incentives of Cabinet ministers and senior administrators should be realigned to ensure thatcitizen wellbeing remains the essential measure of the success of policies and programmes.

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The current formula for ministerial bonuses is tied to GDP growth, which is a statistic that is easy for planners to manipulate. One way to achieve this is to increase the labour supply willcause GDP to inflate. There is thus the risk of a Government manipulating GDP growth toraise their own salaries to the detriment of Singaporeans.In our paper Ethical Salaries for a Public Service Centred Government (Singapore Democratic Party, 2011), we recommended that ministerial salary bonuses linked to GDP growth be removed and that their salaries be pegged to the bottom 20 per cent of income earners in Singapore. Similarly, the national performance component of bonuses for senior civil servants should be linked to more broad-based measures of the economy such as theGPI(S) or a measure of average real income growth. (See Annex A.) This removal of adverse incentives will make population and immigration policy more aligned with public benefit.

Singapore Democratic Party. Building a People: Sound Policies for a Secure Future. Singapore Democratic Party. Retrieved from http://yoursdp.org/_ld/0/8_Population2.01.pdf
No mention found9. It is a well-known fact that the salaries of our ministers and top civil servants are second to none in the world. This fact has been a constant source of public consternation and has often been voiced out in frustration with complaints of poorly managed costs of living and stressful living conditions. This public consternation eventually led the government to form a committee to review ministers’ salaries which recommended in January 2012wage cuts of between 36% and 53% for political appointment holders [5]. The recommendation continued to benchmark the salaries to the median income of the top 1,000 earners who are Singapore citizens but with a 40% discount to signify the ethos and sacrifice that comes with political service.

10. The wage cuts reduced the intensity of public consternation but it never quite dissipated. It continues to constantly diminish the government leaders’ moral authorityin the eyes of the public whenever frustrations set in. It has happened again with the suggestion for NSmen to be paid more.

11. The government’s legal authority to rule on all matters relating to law and order is unquestionable. However, for matters that require the government to exhort the people to be charitable, compassionate and generous or to make sacrifices for others, it needs to rely on its moral authority.

Sadly, the government’s moral authority has been seriously diminished by the commercial formula used to calculate the salaries of those holding political and high public offices. It is this commercial formula that has wedged itself between the people and the government and which has caused the government to lose much of the trust and respect that was once enjoyed by our first generation of leaders.

12. NSP urges the government to consider de-linking the salaries of ministers from the earned income of our top income earners. NSP proposes that ministerial salaries should take reference from the salary scales of political appointees of a “basket” of countries, taking into account similarities and discounting for differences.

13. By delinking ministerial salaries from the earned income of our top income earners, the remuneration of ministers will no longer be a thorn in the flesh and the government will be able to regain much of its moral authority.

National Solidarity Party. NSP Statement on the Value of National Service and Ownership of CPF monies. Retrieved from http://nsp.sg/2015/03/22/nsp-statement-on-the-value-of-national-service-and-ownership-of-cpf-monies/
Prices of HDB flats are increasing beyond the reach of many Singaporeans, which include many 1st time home owners. Meanwhile the salaries of ordinary Singaporeans stagnate. Ask yourself this question; PAP ministers who enjoy astronomical salaries may get a hefty wage increase and bonus this year using taxpayer monies. What about you? Has your salary increased? Have you gotten a high bonus like the ministers are going to receive? Ordinary Singaporeans who contribute to the success of the country get a small slice of the pie, while a small portion of so-called elites get the majority of the benefits at taxpayer’s expense. Imagine if a minster gets a half-year bonus, in one year these ministers may get in bonus what an ordinary Singaporean family takes a lifetime to earn.

Reform Party. The time is now! Retrieved from http://reform.sg/the-time-is-now/
And that brings me to an overarching point – if the Government’s decision is still to match ministerial pay to the top earners of the private sector, then their accountability measures and KPIs must also match the rigour of the private sector. -

Singapore People's Party. Parliamentary Speech on Ministerial Pay Review – NCMP Lina Chiam. Retrieved from http://www.spp.org.sg/parliamentary-speech-on-ministerial-pay-review-ncmp-lina-chiam/

Ironically, PAP ministers themselves have just increased their own pay by double digits but now, they see it inappropriate for workers to have their pay increase!

Singapore Alternatives. Is PAP government FOR the People? Retrieved from http://singaporealternatives.blogspot.sg/2008/07/is-pap-government-for-people.html
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