Ex-NWC Chief now proposes wage increase guidelines for low income workers
Posted by temasektimes on October 25, 2012
When he was the Chief of the National Wages Council, he was pretty much ‘silent’, but now Lim Chong Yah, the architect of Singapore’s wage system in the 70s, is making a lot of ‘noise’ lately about the plight of Singapore’s low income worker.
Presenting his proposal titled ” Shock Therapy II” at the Singapore Economic Policy forum on Thursday, Professor Lim calls for a continued issuance of quantitative wage increase guideline for low income workers who earn S$1,500 or less a month for the next two years.
He also proposed a compulsory minimum wage scheme of S$1,000 a month as a start-off quantum should the wages of the lowest paid workers remain stubbornly very low in two or three years’ time
His original proposal, six months ago, was to raise the monthly salaries of workers who earn S$1,500 or less by 50 per cent over three years and, at the same time freeze wages of those who earn over S$15,000 a month has come under fire by PAP minister and labor chief Lim Swee Say for oversimplifying the issue, which contains serious “hidden risks” for the Singapore economy such as structural unemployment and higher cost of living.
While Professor Lim’s occasional rants may get media attention, it is nothing but hot air unless he contests in the election and manage to win a seat in parliament to get his views aired.
Due to the government’s ultra-liberal immigration and pro-foreigner economic policies, the income gap between the rich and the poor has widened considerably over the years.
In the Kent Ridge forum conducted two years ago in NUS, Singapore’s Supreme Leader Lee Kuan Yew dismissed concerns about the growing income gap, saying it does not matter so long jobs are being created for Singaporeans (never mind the pay).