THE TEMASEK TIMES

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Posts Tagged ‘Budget 2012’

Budget 2012: Government to build more hospitals

Posted by temasektimes on February 18, 2012

The Singapore government will double its yearly healthcare expenditure to about S$8 billion dollars over the next five years to build more public hospitals to meet the growing demand from the population.

In addition to the Ng Teng Fong Hospital in Jurong and Sengkang General Hospital, two more community hospitals in Outram and Sengkang will be built.

The new hospitals will increase the number of beds by some 1,900 for acute hospitals and 1,800 beds for community hospitals.

Long-term chronic care services which include nursing homes, home-based health and social care services, day-care and rehabilitation facilities and Senior Activity Centres will see their capacity boosted as well to deal with the ‘silver tsunami’ which is expected to hit Singapore in 2020.

The announcements were made by DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam as he unveiled Singapore’s Budget for 2012 in parliament today.

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Budget 2012: Singapore to reduce reliance on foreign workers

Posted by temasektimes on February 17, 2012

Singapore will reduce its perennial reliance on foreign workers and restructure Singapore’s economy to grow on the basis of skills, innovation and productivity, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam as he unveiled Singapore’s Budget for 2012.

In his speech to Parliament, Mr Tharman noted that Singapore’s foreign workforce has grown rapidly over the last two years and is now at about one-third of our total workforce, but emphasised that “this has happened in an environment of full employment for Singaporeans and shortage of labour in many sectors of the economy”.

“We have no alternative but to slow down the growth of our foreign workforce,” he said.

The government will introduce measures to limit the inflow of foreign workers by reducing the Dependency Ratio Ceilings (DRCs) of the manufacturing and services sectors. DRCs specify the maximum proportion of foreign workers that companies can hire.

The DRC for S Passes will also be reduced from 25% to 20% for all sectors from July 1, 2012. With Singapore’s economy expected to slow this year, Mr Tharman urged businesses to make use of the opportunity to lower the DRCs across the board.

“All firms can then take this into account in their future hiring decisions. This will help to contain our dependence on foreign workers in the long term,” he added.

Foreign workers are mostly employed in positions shunned by Singaporeans such as those in the construction and service industries. Singapore’s unemployment rate hit a record low of 2 percent for the last quarter of 2011 despite sluggish economic growth amidst uncertainties over the global economy.

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