SDP calls for minimum wage, abolishing CPF minimum sum

SINGAPORE – The Singapore Democratic Party called for establishing a national minimum wage, abolishing the Central Provident Fund minimum sum and introducing retrenchment benefits of up to 18 months, in an economic plan ahead of the next General Election.

In the plan titled “A New Economic Vision”, the SDP also proposed divesting Government-Led Corporations and giving small and medium-sized enterprises more help to grow.

The 105-page paper, presented on Saturday at Bras Basah Complex, provides eight broad recommendations to reduce income inequality and poverty, and boost innovation and productivity.

On the subject of the CPF scheme, the SDP said it would return CPF savings in full, pay higher interest rates and let retirees who want their CPF savings returned in instalments do so through an opt-in scheme.

The SDP also repeated its long-standing call to increase taxes on the rich to support the poorer parts of society. In particular, it wants to abolish the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for basic necessities and raise income taxes on the top 1 per cent of earners.

Another proposal was to jettison the Gross Domestic Product number as the country’s economic indicator in favour of a measure called the “Genuine Progress Index”, which incorporates environmental and social factors – a call the SDP also made in 2013 in response to the Government’s Population White Paper.

The SDP’s economic plan is the latest in its series of activities ahead of the next GE, which must be held by January 2017. Last month, the party kicked off its election campaign by announcing its slogan – “your voice in Parliament” – and strategy, and since then has conducted walkabouts in the North and West parts of Singapore.

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