7 in 10 support Budget measures, pioneer generation package: Reach survey

Seven in 10 Singaporeans surveyed in an annual post-Budget poll supported the initiatives announced in this year's Budget, including the pioneer generation package and increase in employer CPF contribution rates for older workers. -- ST FILE PHOTO:&n
Seven in 10 Singaporeans surveyed in an annual post-Budget poll supported the initiatives announced in this year's Budget, including the pioneer generation package and increase in employer CPF contribution rates for older workers. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

Seven in 10 Singaporeans surveyed in an annual post-Budget poll supported the initiatives announced in this year's Budget, including the pioneer generation package and increase in employer CPF contribution rates for older workers.

The two most well-supported announcements were the pioneer package, which 70 per cent agreed would ensure affordable healthcare for seniors aged 65 and up; and more subsidies for people with disabilities, which 73 per cent agreed would provide significant support for lower- and middle-income families.

The telephone poll of 946 randomly selected citizens, aged 20 and above, was held from Feb 24 to March 6 by Government feedback unit Reach. The sample was weighted so it would be representative of the national population in terms of age, gender and ethnicity.

About two thirds of respondents said the increase in employer CPF contribution rates for older workers was a step in the right direction.

However, some were concerned that this might lead to a rise in elderly unemployment as it could make hiring older workers more costly.

Workers aged 50 to 55 will have their CPF contribution rates raised by 1.5 percentage points, while those aged 55 to 65 will get an increase of 0.5 percentage point.

On the topic of healthcare, 64 per cent agreed that the increased subsidies and employer CPF contributions to Medisave would significantly improve healthcare affordability for the lower- and middle-income group.

About the same number of respondents said that other measures like more preschool and tertiary education subsidies, as well as GST vouchers and public housing conservancy fee rebates, would help this segment of society as well.

The move to raise taxes on betting, cigarettes and alcohol would help avoid excessive consumption in those areas, said 64 per cent of the respondents.

However, there was lower support for measures to help the corporate sector. About 53 per cent agreed that initiatives to aid businesses in restructuring and improving productivity would result in better jobs and higher wages for Singaporeans.

Some business owners also called for more Government assistance in managing business costs, Reach noted.

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