Forum: Foreign worker levies could support workers' dorm upgrade

The answer to "who pays?" for better migrant-worker dormitory standards seems obvious when you look at the funding equation (Raising workers' dorm standards: Who pays?, July 21).

I agree with Associate Professor Jessica Pan and Assistant Professor Ong Pinchuan that there is nothing wrong, in principle, with using the tax revenue collected from foreign worker levies to subsidise the costs of providing better housing conditions.

Employers have paid all the costs associated with engaging migrant workers, such as recruitment fees to agents, travel costs, workman compensation insurance, dormitory rental, medical expenses and the foreign worker levy.

I estimate that the Government collects billions of dollars annually, an amount large enough to fund upgraded dormitories, from employers who logically have passed the cost down to consumers.

In other words, society has already borne the full cost of providing for migrant workers' welfare via levies.

Paul Chan Poh Hoi