Caring for our workers

4 July 2020
Singapore Democrats

Chinese translation

 

Retrenchment insurance will provide retrenched workers with support while they look for reemployment.

SDP will fight for retrenchment benefits to be paid to workers retrenched as a result of Covid-19. Under the SDP RESTART (Re-Employment Scheme and Temporary Assistance for the ReTrenched) programme, if a worker is retrenched, the government pays 75% of his/her last drawn salary for 1st 6 months, 50% for 2nd 6 months, and 25% for the final 6 months (capped at the median wage).

FAQ

1. For the retrenchment benefits, where does the money come from?

  • The investment returns from our reserves are expected to yield $37.2 billion in Financial Year 2020. The Government uses 50% ($18.6 b) of it to fund the Annual Budget. That leaves $18.6 billion that can be used to fund RESTART, which requires only an initial outlay of $2 billion p.a. This means that we are not even touching the reserves—only the yield that comes from it. When the effects of Covid-19 diminish, RESTART will operate as an insurance programme. (See also the Financial Explanatory Note, which provides a bigger picture of SDP's fiscal solution of its overall initiatives.)

2. Won't such benefits be open to abuse and encourage people to become lazy?

3. Still, any benefits will be open to abuses, won't it? How does SDP plan to prevent such abuses?

  • Then actual "free" benefits of RESTART are only temporary. MOM will assist the retrenched individual to seek re-employment and help match his/her skill- and salary-level to new job where possible. The individual can reject only up to 3 job offers.
  • To prevent abuse of the programme, those relieved of their work due to misconduct, resign from their jobs or worked with the company for less than a year will not be eligible for RESTART.

As the name, suggests, RESTART is meant to provide temporary assistance to retrenched workers and to help them get back on their feet to contribute to the economy. It will help to reduce tension and hardship for families, keeping our social fabric secure and strong.

Financial Explanatory Notes:

Out of call for 4Y1N, three of SDP's initiatives require fiscal justifications. The three are the suspension of GST until 2021, RISE and RESTART, costing a total of $16.1 billion.

  • The suspension of GST will cost $11.3 billion in 2020.
  • RISE will cost $2.8 billion annually
  • RESTART will cost $2 billion p.a. initially. Subsequently, when the effects of Covid-19 wane, it will be funded via an insurance program.

The investment returns from our reserves yielded $34 billion in Financial Year 2019 and are expected to yield $37.2 billion in Financial Year 2020. Each year, 50% of the returns are set aside by the Government for its Annual Budget. For 2020, the Government has put aside $18.6 billion (50%) for its Annual Budget. Hence another $18.6 billion is available for use without touching the principal sum of the reserves. It is like using the interest income from our fixed deposit without touching the principal sum of the fixed deposit.

This $18.6 billion is more than sufficient to fund the combined cost ($16.1 billion) of the three SDP initiatives. There will still be a net balance of $2.5 billion which will add to the reserves together with land sales revenue that has averaged $16 billion a year for the past 10 years. The principal sum of the reserves will also grow with economic growth and net investment flows.

Furthermore, only RISE requires a long-term budget of $2.8 billion p.a., an easily sustainable figure. The other two initiatives require only temporary funding.

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关心我国的劳动队伍

失业者在寻找工作的同时,裁退保险将为他们提供援助。

民主党将为因新冠疫情而被裁退的员工争取裁员福利。在“重新受聘计划与被裁退者临时援助”计划(RESTART)下,政府将在首六个月向失业者提供月薪75%的补贴,在接下来六个月月薪50%的补贴,以及最后六个月月薪25%的补贴。补贴金额以薪金中位数为上限。

问与答

一、“重新受聘计划与被裁退者临时援助”计划的资金从何而来?

  • 我国储备金的投资回报在2020年财政年度预估会达到372亿。政府在年度财政预算案中使用其中的50%(即186亿),剩下的186亿将可以用来支付本计划,本计划最开始每年也只会动用20亿。这表示我们完全不会动用到储备金,只是使用储备金投资回报的一部分。当新冠疫情的负面影响消失后,本计划将以保险的方式继续(请参考下面的财务说明)。

二、这样的救济金会不会容易被滥用并鼓励人民变得懒惰吗?

三、话虽如此,任何福利还是可能会被滥用。民主党要如何预防这项计划被滥用呢?

  • “重新受聘计划与被裁退者临时援助”计划真正“免费”的福利只是暂时性的。人力部将会协助失业者寻找新的就业机会,并尽可能让新工作与技能与薪金匹配。失业者只能拒绝受聘三次。
  • 为了避免这项计划被滥用,那些因行为不当、辞职或在公司工作少于一年而被解雇的人士将不能申请。

顾名思义,“重新受聘计划与被裁退者临时援助”计划在为裁减的工人提供临时援助,并帮助他们重新站起来为经济做出贡献。这将有助于减轻家庭压力与负担,使我们的社会结构保持牢固。

财政说明:

在民主党竞选宣言“四要一不要”中,其中三项需要进行财政说明:

  • 在2020年暂停消费税的成本为113亿;
  • 年长者退休收入计划的成本为每年28亿;
  • “重新启动RESTART”援助和重新雇佣计划最开始的成本为20亿。等疫情的负面影响消退后,就可通过一项保险计划来继续资助。

我国储备金在2019年财政年度的的投资回报为340亿,而在2020年财政年度的投资回报预估会达到372亿。政府在年度财政预算案中使用其中的50%(即186亿)。因此剩下的186亿将能在完全不会动用到储备金的情况下使用。这就如我们使用定期存款所赚取的利息收入,而不动用我们定期存款内本金的道理一样。

这186亿的金额足以支付我们民主党这三个倡议所需要的资金(161亿)。我国还会剩下25亿的余额,以及通过土地销售计划每年平均赚取的160亿的收入,一起加进我国的储备金中。储备金的本金也将随着经济增长以及净投资流量而增长。

更何况,只有年长者退休收入计划需要28亿的长期预算,这笔预算容易达到可持续性。其他两项倡议只需要临时资金。