Photo of elderly cleaner from Straits Times

In the salary report released today (May 30), the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) covered up the statistics of actual wage growth for low income workers.

The MOM covered up the embarrassing fact by only providing only 2 wage-related information about wage growth for low income workers:

1) 59.8% did not give a wage increase
2) Among the 40.2% who gave a wage increase, the actual amount is concealed up by “other forms of wage increase” (10.3%) and “had given built-in wage increase (27%). No actual quantum of wage increase is given and the only general breakdown is in “less than S$50” or “more than S$50”.
3) No data on the number of companies which reduced wages.

An estimate based on the available relevant data by States Times Review found that the low income workers saw an overall wage growth of only 0.7%, marginally lower than the actual average 3.1% growth registered for 2016.

The National Wage Council (NWC) recommends a basic wage of S$1,100 including CPF and a S$60 wage increase for 2016. Although MOM did not have the statistics, they claimed the low-income workers “enjoyed higher wage increases”:

“As the majority of low-wage employees on outsourced service contracts were working in Progressive Wage Model sectors such as cleaning, landscaping and security, they enjoyed higher wage increases than low-wage employees in general.”

According to the MOM report, productivity gains has nothing to do with salary growth as 95.5% of the low income employees met performance expectations. This statistic contravene with the government’s fake news of equating productivity gains to wage growth.

In the MOM report, inflation for 2016 was factored at -0.5%, boosting wage growth on paper. However the inflation decline was largely due to private transport and private property price declines. The actual MAS Core inflation – where private transport and property is not factored in – is an increase of 0.9%. MOM’s calculated average wage growth figure of 3.6% is hence inaccurate, and should instead be 2.2% for 2016.

You may view MOM’s report here.