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The Singapore Democratic Party proposes a minimum wage of $10 an hour or $1,760 a month, based on a 44-hours work week. Minimum wage should also be coupled with pro-employment policies, social transfers which allow for low-income workers to obtain a living standard.
By setting a wage floor, this protects workers from ‘unduly low pay’. Minimum wage also has several economic and social benefits. It:
- Increases the spending power of workers which stimulates consumption ultimately benefiting business;
- Prevents the exploitation of workers and reduces poverty which can breed mistrust and resentment towards management;
- Narrows income inequality;
- Raises the security and, therefore, the productivity of workers as they can focus on their jobs without being distracted with having to find supplementary income;
- Decreases the cost of welfare programmes by increasing incomes for the lowest-paid workers;
- Is easily enforced because the state agencies only need to act on reported cases of wage violations instead of setting up large bodies to monitor a programme;
- Allows prosperity to be shared by all.
The SDP also proposes a Wage Equity Commission to recommend the minimum wage to the government. The level of minimum wage would be based on a basket of factors including the cost of living index and inflation rate. The Commission will assess the impact of the policy, taking into consideration economic conditions, living expenses, labour market and its conditions and adjust the level annually.
This recommendation arises from SDP’s most recent review of its minimum wage proposal undertaken by the party’s Policy Unit in October 2020. SDP has been calling for a minimum wage to be implemented since the 1990s. Over the last 20 years, in 2001, 2010 and 2015 the party has proposed a minimum wage of $5, 6.80 and $7 per hour respectively, taking into account adjustments based on inflation and the rising cost of living.
The ultimate goal of a Minimum Wage is to create conditions where Singaporeans, including the ones in lower-income jobs, are paid wages that allow them to lead dignified, productive, and creative lives.
Read in full SDP Policy Update on Minimum Wage here.