Government needs to stop blaming young Singaporeans for their economic woes

The Young Democrats urge the government to help young Singaporeans financially instead of blaming them for their current economic woes.

Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts, Dr Lee Boon Yang recently said (4 Aug 06 that there is “an increasing number of younger people who either cannot hold on to a job, or claimed that they do not earn enough for their needs.”

He went on to state that these Singaporeans should not be overtly dependent on “various financial assistances offered by the government, such as Comcare, Short Term Financial Assistance Scheme and Work Assistance Programme.”

In making such a statement, Mr Lee is making an assumption that young Singaporeans are choosy about their jobs.

Instead of relinquishing their responsibilities, the government should conduct more objective and comprehensive research to understand why more young Singaporeans are having difficulty coping with their jobs or earning enough to maintain their standard of living.

The Young Democrats believe that the economic plight of some young Singaporeans is reflective of the dire employment situation and the increasing income disparity among the population. We also believe that there is a pool of genuine young Singaporeans who are being left out and hence in need of assistance in finding jobs that will pay them enough to cope with the high cost of living.

As such, the government must stop putting the blame on young Singaporeans or expect them to lower their job expectations. Instead it should focus on the real bread and butter issues. These would include social, political, economic and educational reforms, which are necessary to reduce poverty and alleviate the economic woes of Singaporeans.

The Young Democrats also disagree with the Government that we should totally reject the “welfare” system. This is because some form of social security is essential to prevent the poor from left behind.

Charles Tan
Young Democrats