In a campaign video featuring former Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan Jin, the PAP candidate for Marine Parade GRC said that he is against the Minimum Wage because Singapore companies cannot afford to pay a minimal living wage and as a result Singaporeans will lose their jobs.
Tan Chuan Jin said he prefers the ruling party government’s Workfare, which provides low income workers with cash and CPF payments out from government taxes so that businesses and companies do not have to pay higher salaries. Workfare only applies to those aged 35 and above earning below S$1,900, and is a form of wage subsidy for businesses.
“What Workfare does is help to boost what individuals may be earning, but without imposing that burden on companies that may be worried about their bottom line. This is meant to help individuals, to make sure they remain employable.
A minimum wage system would have the “inadvertent side effect” of causing some Singaporeans to lose their jobs. These companies may not be prepared to pay that wage level. We’ve seen that happening in other countries”
Tan Chuan Jin also claimed that Workfare is better because it is “a more difficult path”, without explaining in details its “difficulty” when Workfare is just about using government taxes to subsidize companies.