Minister Ng Chee Meng also said in his speech in Parliament on Tuesday (May 15) that he has created a new committee to “help the elderly”. The PAP Minister said old people “want to work” but employers are reluctant to hire them:
“Union leaders and I are worried for this group of workers. For many of them, the job is essential – just like us, they have expenses, mortgages, and dependants relying on them. While older workers might want to stay employed, the real question is whether employers are willing to hire senior workers, instead of having the fixed mindset that these workers are a burden, more expensive and untrainable.”
Calling the CPF a “protection”, Minister of State Ng Chee Meng said he wants self-employed Singaporeans to pay CPF in additional to the mandatory Medisave payment.
“Freelancers, part-timers and the self-employed are another group that needs support. As project-based employment becomes more common, the Government should ensure they enjoy CPF protection, medical coverage and skills development.”
The former army general who has never worked a day in the private sector did not reveal how much is the CPF payment rate for self-employed. Currently, employees both full and part-time pay 37% in CPF to the government. The CPF is a tax-equivalent of social security, except that it has later withdrawal age at 65 and a yearly-increasing Minimum Sum – rendering it’s payout too small and insignificant for retirement.
The committee will consist of the government, government’s NTUC and bosses.
The PAP Minister also said he wants to pay more government grants to companies to pass down “productivity gains” in a trickle-down economy model:
“We will expand the use of the Inclusive Growth Programme (IGP) and find ways to support more workers. The IGP is a fund that helps companies kick-start productivity projects, with companies in return sharing the productivity gains with their workers through higher wages. We will work with the Government for better support and prevent these sectors from stagnating… There are some government initiatives in place to help older workers, like WorkPro, which gives employers funding support to redesign their workplaces into more age-friendly space. There is also the Special Employment Credit, which subsidises employers the net cost of employing mature workers.”