Stuck in vicious circle of rising wages and costs?
OUR young have been constantly reminded by their parents that they should aspire to be doctors, lawyers and other professionals, working in air-conditioned offices.
They can see for themselves that most construction workers and cleaners are foreigners. They are taught to leave the "dirty work" to foreign workers.
If they continue to have such a mindset, they will not be able to sustain the needs of the economy.
I belong to Generation X and am a mother of three. I committed the same mistake, impressing on my children the need to become well-paid professionals.
The Government is right to say that we need foreigners to meet the needs of our growing economy. The Workers' Party (WP) is also right to say that we need to get housewives and retirees back into the workforce.
My husband is an employer in a small and medium-sized enterprise. He has tried to employ housewives and retirees, but it is challenging as they do not mind not working if they cannot fit into the new work environment.
The Government has heeded the public outcry over foreign labour and increased the levies on foreign workers. The SMEs suffered as a result.
The WP hears the outcry too and encourages employers to increase the salaries of Singaporeans and not look to foreigners. But again, the SMEs will suffer as a result of the increased costs.
If the SMEs pass on the higher operating costs to consumers, these people will in turn seek more wages from their employers to keep up with the rising cost of living.
If the SMEs cannot cope with rising costs, they will have to close down and people will lose their jobs.
Are we stuck in a vicious circle of rising wages, costs and job losses?
Teo Mei Ling (Ms)