The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Feb 07, 2013
 
S. Iswaran, Foreign workers

Iswaran says Workers' Party plan to freeze foreign worker numbers drastic

 
 

The Workers Party's proposal to stop taking in additional foreign workers until 2020 is drastic and very risky, Second Minister for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran told Parliament on Thursday.

It will speed up business closures and cause Singaporeans to lose their jobs. The economy could spiral downward, and result in a loss of the country's reputation in the business and investor community.

Mr Iswaran added that the opposition party's idea to rely only on raising the resident labour force participation rate by 1 per cent every year is an "extreme freeze" scenario that Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean painted in his speech that opened the population white paper debate on Monday.

Turning to a driving analogy that WP secretary-general Low Thia Khiang first made during the 2011 General Election, Mr Iswaran said the WP proposes "to jam-brake", and put the economy in a tailspin.

The Government, however, is slowing down economic growth in a way that will "achieve a smooth landing".