Photo of Josephine Teo from The New Paper

Manpower Minister Josephine Teo has gone on to Parliament to declare that the PAP government will never agree to unemployment benefits for Singaporeans. The millionaire minister painted a picture of doom claiming that unemployment benefits will turn the unemployed lazy, employers will remove retrenchment benefits and that it will cause massive unemployment:

“There are serious downsides to having such a provision. These include reducing workers’ motivation to find work as well as decreasing the willingness of employers to pay retrenchment benefits. Countries that provide unemployment insurance usually have persistently high unemployment, which is unlike the situation in Singapore.” 

Minister Josephine Teo said if a person is unemployed in Singapore, he can rely on his spouse or child to work:

“Willingness to pay for unemployment insurance is not the same in Singapore because most people do not expect to need it and they also have other buffers, for example, a working spouse or child.”

Singapore’s unemployment rate is now at a decade-high of 3.3%, despite having minimal employment benefits and no Minimum Wage. Minister Josephine Teo however claimed that Singapore has “very low unemployment rate”:

“We don’t take the improved employment outcomes of our citizens for granted. It is not a given. We have to work very hard for it.”