Photo of elderly Singaporean with Lee Hsien Loong portrait

Speaking at a ministry event, Manpower Minister Josephine Teo waxed lyrical about helping the low income workers without giving anything constructive:

“The future of work holds many promises – innovative workplaces, more meaningful jobs, better prospects. But there are also uncertainties because of disruptions and restructuring. MOM must be agile and practical in its responses to help businesses transform and workers adapt. We must also have empathy and understand the aspirations of Singaporeans. Let us bring our heads, hearts and hands to bear so that we can all move forward and not fall behind.”

The airhead Minister then poured praises for her government policies saying that income of the elderly and low wage workers have risen thanks to the government:

“While previous initiatives such as Workfare, Adapt and Grow, and Silver Support have provided better safety and security for workers, more must be done. Workfare supplements the income of lower-wage workers while the Adapt and Grow initiative helps Singaporeans to tap specific programmes to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills for new jobs. Silver Support tops up the retirement incomes of the bottom 20 per cent of Singaporeans aged 65 and above.”

Despite government propaganda repeatedly claiming that the government has helped the poor, Singapore ranks among the worst in a recent survey of addressing inequality. At a ranking of 149th out of 157 countries, the Singapore government was found to be the most reluctant in addressing income inequality. The independent report noted that Singapore does not have a Minimum Wage, the government spends very little on social security and healthcare, and there is little employment rights for the people.

Singapore also ranks poorly in income inequality, with a GINI coefficient of 0.458 – the second-worst when compared to OECD nations.

Singapore low income workers comprises of both locals and foreigners, with domestic maid and construction workers, exploited from third world countries, while cleaners and security guards from elderly citizens. A Singaporean elderly cleaner takes home as little as S$800 a month after CPF tax deduction, despite having the government boasting about wage growth more than the top 10% income earners.

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