Rich-poor gap not caused by recent growth strategies: DPM Tharman
The gap between the rich and poor here is not a result of the Government's recent growth strategies; it is a problem Singapore has had since the 1980s.
It then worsened in the 1990s even as families saw their standards of living rise, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday as he set out "basic facts" of Singapore's inequality story.
Speaking at a ceremony where he was conferred an honorary fellowship by the Academy of Medicine, Mr Tharman said that inequality here stems from the fact that Singapore is a city-state and is made worse by a phenomenal growth in education levels over a single generation.
Noting that the proportion of students with only primary education has dived from 50 per cent to just 2 per cent in 30 years, he said: "What it means is that the older generation of workers, who had low skills and wages for most of their lives and who were part of the developing economy that Singapore was, now find themselves in a developed economy, where incomes of younger people are a world apart from what they grew up with.