In the run-up to The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz, students suggest how to narrow the income gap in Singapore.
'One solution would be to reduce the Goods and Services Tax on necessities that the lower-income group spend most of their income on, such as food, and have the Government make up for the loss in revenue tax by raising the income tax for higher-income Singaporeans instead.'
- Jasmin Kaur, 17, is a first-year science student at Innova Junior College.
'Money grows from money. How about giving poorer Singaporeans a space, such as a flea market, where budding entrepreneurs can set up stalls to run their businesses, and give them another avenue to earn more money.'
- Hikawa Tomomi, 17, is a first-year arts student at Tampines Junior College.
'The influx of talent into Singapore, and the mobility of talent, has increased wages for those who are skilled, while wages are kept low for unskilled workers. To narrow the income gap, the Government should reduce taxation on low-income earners while introducing a recommended wage for them. Should their employers comply with the recommended wage, they should enjoy incentives such as tax breaks.'
- Wesley Chioh, 17, is a Year 5 integrated programme student at Raffles Institution.
'The lack of a minimum wage here results in depressed salaries for the lower-income group, as companies find it cheaper and easy to hire foreign workers. Implement a minimum wage to increase total equity and make it significantly less attractive for companies to hire lower-income foreign workers, raising wages in the industries and making it them more attractive to Singaporeans.'
- Ryan Martin Ang, 16, is a first-year student at Catholic Junior College.