Tag Archives: MINIMUM WAGE

Why implementing minimum wage in Singapore is a terrible idea

First, let's take a look at what the minimum wage actually is. Too often, people start jumping on the minimum wage bandwagon without first understanding what its implications will be on Singaporeans. Some may think that minimum wage helps the most vulnerable groups in society. These groups refer to the very bottom percentile of low-income workers. The uncle who clears your food away at the hawker centre. The grass cutter who trims the grass at your HDB flat. The security guard who works the night shift at your heartland shopping mall.

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Singapore needs minimum wage? Think twice, you may not benefit from it.

When you pay everyone “enough”, this sudden pay raise will drive the cost of end-products through the roof, and guess who else but YOU, the consumer, would have to bear this cost. Prices rise, the low waged worker again can’t afford it: it is a vicious cycle. The benefits of minimum wage is then neutralized. And….. there’s one more thing you should know. When you have minimum wages in Singapore, your employer will be very happy to have the excuse to keep your wage to the minimum.

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MALAYSIA IMPLEMENTS MININUM WAGES

Beginning 2013, Malaysia joined the league of nations implementing minimum wages. With the wisdom of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Government picked enough courage and confidence to implement this policy. The Minimum Wages initiative for Malaysia was announced by the Prime Minister in his Budget Speech on Oct 15, 2010. The policy is meant to ensure employees can meet their basic needs and create the necessary environment for industries to move-up their value chain by increasing the productivity of their employees through the use of technology and other innovations.

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Targeted minimum wage – a positive step, but more can be done

We note that there are many enforcement and legislative functions in the suggestions above, to ensure that the worker-centric aspirations of this policy do not go to waste through mismanagement. The Ministry of Manpower needs to play an active role here to ensure the right conduct of companies. The fact that the announcement was made by the DPM clearly demonstrates the gravity of the policy and the need to do right by workers. We also hope that MOM will take DPM’s lead and work towards fair wages for all industries in Singapore.

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Singapore ranks top 10 expensive cities once again

It is interesting to note that amongst the top 10 most expensive cities in the world, 5 out of 7 of the countries that the cities are situated in all operate on a minimum wage system. San Francisco (ranked 9th) has the highest minimum wage of S$12.65 per hour, followed by New York (ranked 5th) with a minimum wage of S$9 per hour. Even Switzerland, the only country that does not have an official minimum wage other than Singapore, is slowly gearing towards operating based on a minimum wage system – with the Swiss residents being able to vote on whether they want to have this system or not.

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Basic salary rate is a good start, but does not go far enough

The causes of the Little India riot are of course many and I do not want to over simplify the problem. That being said, I sincerely believe that chronic frustration over their working conditions are a significant part of the equation. It is therefore crucial to address the needs of our construction workers too. In the words of labour activist, Jolovan Wham: “I think it’s a good first step, but this should pave the way for legislation to be enacted eventually… Such a basic wage should apply to sectors like construction, marine and services, for instance, and also apply to workers of all nationalities.”

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Govt to set ‘minimum wage’ for 2 industries

The government is setting “minimum wages” for the cleaning and security industries but has refused to acknowledge so because of the oidious connotation of the term “minimum wage” among businessmen and investors.It will begin by legislating what is effectively a minimum wage for the cleaning sector. It will introduce an amendment to the law this month which, when passed by Parliament and implemented, will set a tiered wage system for different jobs in the sector. This was announced on Wednesday (8 Jan) by DPM Tharman who is also the Finance Minister.

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Cleaners, guards to get pay hike under new system

Cleaning firms must offer entry-level salary of S$1,000 and give increments in tandem with skills upgrading. Starting in September — after legislative changes are introduced later this month and passed by Parliament — cleaning companies must pay an entry-level salary of S$1,000 each month, up from the current median gross monthly wage of about S$850, and subsequently give increments in tandem with skills upgrading.

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