Thursday, May 02, 2013

Sharing the results of economic growth

PM Lee said that "growing the economy is the best way to boost wages".

This is an important strategy, but it has to be supplemented by other measures. We also need to ensure that the results of economic growth are shared fairly among all the parties that contributed to the growth.

In the past decade, we have seen wages had remained stagnant for many workers, while rentals, top management salaries and profits have taken a higher share of the economic output. The cost of living and cost of housing had also increased, so many workers found it difficult to make ends meet. They have to work longer hours to earn enough to get by.

We need to introduce the following measures:

1. Implement a minimum wage that is adequate for a Singaporean to raise a family and meet the cost of living.
2. Offset the higher wage cost by an appropriate reduction in rental, top management salaries and excessive profit margins.
3. Ensure that the final cost to consumers should be kept affordable by creating a market that is free, open and transparent.
4. Regulate the working hours and terms of employment to ensure a healthy work life balance. 

These measures cannot be just "left to the market", which is the approach that is favored by PM Lee. We need a government that is more active in managing these issues. Some matters have to be regulated, while other measures can be left to the market. The government has to be wise in making the right judgment.

1 comment:

yujuan said...

With stubborn refusal to adhere to no minimum wage policy, boils down to high costs of doing business here vis a vis other Asian countries.
Low wages without Govt control is the only last bastion to anchor Foreign Companies to stay put, else more Companies would exit.
Also, it benefits Govt related Companies, among the largest employers in Singapore. Who dun wan to make more money, so what if it means exploiting the wage earner.

Blog Archive