Parliament: Inequality – so many lower-income?

opening-of-parliament_pm_lee

Why are there so many Singaporeans earning so little?

I refer to the article “Parliament: Singapore will wither if society is rigid and stratified by class, says PM Lee” (Straits Times, Feb 6).

It states that “Singapore’s politics will turn vicious, its society will fracture and the country will wither if it allows widening income inequalities to create “a rigid and stratified social system””

In this connection, there were 69,800 unemployed residents as of June 2017, and 125,900 residents earning a gross monthly income (including employer CPF contribution) of less than $1,000.

407,400 earn less than $1,500?

There were 407,400 residents (about 19.4 per cent of the total workforce of 2.1 million) whose median gross income was less than $1,500 monthly.

After CPF = less than $1,200?

If we deduct the maximum employee CPF contribution of 20 per cent – the net take-home pay may be less than $1,200.

Arguably, most of the 407,400 people with take-home pay of less than $1,200 may be struggling to make ends meet.

47,000 earn less than $500?

If we breakdown the 407,400 earning less than $1,500 into 47,000 earning less than $500, 125,900 earning less than $1,000 and 234,500 earning less than $1,500 – the financial stress that lower-income workers may be facing may be even worse.

No breakdown into S’poreans & PRs?

Moreover, since permanent residents (PRs) generally earn more than Singaporeans – I shudder to think what the above statistics may look like for Singaporeans.

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong
Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.