Continued economic growth key to helping low-income and ensuring jobs: Liang Eng Hwa

MP Liang Eng Hwa (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) on Monday, May 26, 2014, focused on the importance of economic growth in ensuring jobs for all Singaporeans and to help those in the lower-income group. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG 
MP Liang Eng Hwa (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) on Monday, May 26, 2014, focused on the importance of economic growth in ensuring jobs for all Singaporeans and to help those in the lower-income group. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG 

MP Liang Eng Hwa (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) on Monday focused on the importance of economic growth in ensuring jobs for all Singaporeans and to help those in the lower-income group.

Speaking on the first day of the Parliament debate following the Presidents' Address on May 16, he acknowledged that the benefits of economic growth have not always trickled down to the poor.

But the solution, he maintained, was not to slow down economic growth.

A "far better" approach is targeted help for lower-income workers - through raising their salaries, improving safety nets and at the same time ensuring continued growth to fund these measures.

He also referred to the Ministry of Trade and Industry's addenda to the President's Address last week, which said that about 40,000 to 45,000 young Singaporeans are expected to enter the job market yearly.

"Our economy would need to grow enough to create that many good jobs to meet their aspirations," he said.

But these workers will face more intense competition globally, with many companies today mobile and operating on a regional basis.

"They will move the jobs to locations where the labour force offers them most value and where the business environment are accretive to their businesses," he said.

The Government then, he said, will have to find new ways to grow and transform the economy.

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