As we near the end of the General Elections 2020 (GE2020) campaign period, everyone should now be doing their due diligence to stay informed and find out what each party is bringing to the table. Here’s a look at some of our contenders.
For the purposes of this article, we are zooming into four different parties – People’s Action Party (PAP), Workers’ Party (WP), Progress Singapore Party (PSP) and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).
WHAT SINGAPOREANS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT: JOBS
With the global pandemic still at large, all four parties are looking into providing various assistance for Singaporeans to boost the economy.
With the citizens in mind, WP shared the importance of finding a suitable job that is able to propel Singapore further and into another league. They want to ensure that adequate support is provided for those who are working.
SkillsFuture education loans were also proposed to encourage people who want to transition from their current field and into a new industry. With such loans, these people will be trained in a much more significant way that will be beneficial for society.
PAP shared in their manifesto that they seek to protect jobs and ensure that the economy stays intact as the nation moves towards recovery. Various schemes were introduced to Singaporeans such as COVID-19 Support Grant and Temporary Relief Fund to help individuals. They have also introduced the Self-Employed Income Relief Scheme to cater to those in the gig economy too.
Additionally, PAP are looking into creating 100,000 job and training opportunities for both the public and private sector. This will also open up new investments, projects and opportunities for Singaporeans.
PSP believes that Singaporeans should get a priority when it comes to jobs so that Singaporean’s livelihood is taken care of.
They further added that it will be wise if the government were to curb the easy supply of foreign labour so that employers will be able to invest in equipment or processes for high productivity.
SDP would like to introduce a retrenchment benefit scheme to help those who were retrenched. They added that jobs can be created for these retrenched workers to come together through a programme where they can use their skills and start a cooperative enterprise.
According to SDP, a similar programme should also be created for the elderly where the government will give up to 80% of the lower-income group of retirees a $500 monthly income. The fund provided will be able to encourage the retirees to start a business and continue to stimulate the economy.
WHAT SINGAPOREANS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT: GST
Goods and Services Tax is also the most discussed topic among the parties, being one that could directly affect Singaporeans’ daily expenditures.
Both PSP and SDP shared that essential items should be exempted from the GST. Additionally, SDP added that the GST should be raised for luxurious goods in Singapore.
Announced in Budget 2020, PAP will increase the GST from 7% to 9% in the next term of government before 2021. They will also enhance the GST permanent voucher scheme.
However, WP opposes the GST hike. They added that the government should release its revenue and expenditure projections so that the public can make a more informed decision on raising GST.
WHAT SINGAPOREANS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT: HEALTHCARE
As Singapore’s ageing population continues to rise, Singaporeans expressed their concerns on the healthcare system in Singapore.
PAP proposed for public healthcare subsidies of up to 80% for Singaporeans. More healthcare facilities will be built such as Novena Community Hospital that will be completed by 2022. Pioneer hospitals such as Singapore General Hospital and National University Hospital will be redeveloped to better cater to the patients.
In the manifesto shared by SDP, they proposed that there should be an increased number of healthcare personnel in the industry. They also added that there should be an increase in the number of medical, nursing and other healthcare students at tertiary level.
With the elder generations in mind, WP proposed that patients above 60 years old should be allowed to use their Medisave for all medical expenses that are not covered by MediShield Life, MediFund any other assistance scheme. Patients who are in need of intermediate and long-term care should be offered with a lower-cost alternative or more subsidies.
Similar suggestions were shared by PSP where MediShield Life Premium should be paid by the government.
Fellow Singaporeans, polling day is upon us. Exercise your democratic right to vote and let ‘X’ mark the spot!
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