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Proposals from MPs on how Singapore could emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic

14 Oct 2020 2 min read

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PAP Members of Parliament debated on the Government’s strategies to help Singapore emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. They also put forth proposals on how the Government could further support Singaporeans to tide over the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

MP for West Coast GRC Ang Wei Neng proposed extending the self-employed persons (SEPs) Income Relief Scheme (SIRS) and widening the criteria to benefit more Singaporeans. The quantum could taper off gradually to allow SEPs who may have grown dependent on the payouts to wean themselves off. 

MP for Marine Parade GRC Mohd Fahmi Aliman proposed lowering the age eligibility for workers qualifying for Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) to 30 years old as younger workers may have dependents. He also proposed the same WIS payout quantum across different age groups based on the worker’s income.  

MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC Joan Pereira proposed channelling more resources into counselling services for vulnerable families and setting up mutual support networks, supported by experienced professionals and other community partners, where vulnerable families can learn helpful tips and provide mutual encouragement.

MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC Don Wee Boon Hong proposed setting up a “Children and Youth” equivalent of the Agency for Integrated Care to have a coordinated and holistic oversight of underprivileged children, and manage the ecosystem of support so that they can have a good education and uplift their families in future.

MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Saktiandi Supaat asked if the Government would consider allowing individuals to withdraw up to $5000 of their CPF savings before they reach age 55 subject to criteria. 

On helping Singaporeans to keep their jobs, MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Edward Chia proposed for the enhancement of the next phase of Jobs Support Scheme with an interim pay out in December this year to help enterprises with cash flow issues to survive. He also proposed that our next phase of Industry Transformation Maps (ITMs) should ensure the upskilling and job re-design of our low wage workers while ensuring business sustainability.

Labour MP and MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Yeo Wan Ling proposed in-community micro work as an option for women. However, she pointed out that there must be safety nets to enable women to take on this option.  

MP for Yio Chu Kang SMC Yip Hon Weng proposed dedicating more resources to the Job Redesign Initiatives to speed up transformation of growth sectors and providing more tailored support as an extension from the Seniors Go Digital movement to help jobseekers improve their digital skills. 

MP for Bukit Panjang SMC Liang Eng Hwa proposed looking into the sources of foreign labour especially the low wage sector to see how we can reduce this dependence and reliance over the medium to long term.