Access to resources helps narrow income gap

Mitigating wealth inequality involves more than government transfers.

Rather than focusing on the redistribution of wealth through taxes, it is more crucial for the Government to tackle the accessibility of resources available to the lower-and middle-income groups.

This is because individuals from wealthier families have a wide network of connections to assist them in the workforce or abundant resources for their education tenure.

Moreover, failure to access tertiary education hinders the ability of poorer individuals to advance their social status.

As society is ever-changing and faced with globalisation, it tends to favour highly skilled workers.

This not only secures them job opportunities, but also gives them a chance to climb the ranks.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon results in children from the lower-income group getting the shorter end of the stick.

It will have an adverse impact on Singapore if social stratification widens.

To bridge the gap, Singapore can revise and strengthen policies that are targeted at assisting individuals without such benefits.

Children from a poorer background can, perhaps, participate in tuition programmes organised by schools to aid their chances of securing a place in a tertiary institution.

Also, career fairs and seminars are opportune times for them to narrow the competitive edge their richer counterparts have.

In this sense, it can facilitate social mobility as everyone has an equal platform to excel.

Goh Cheng Yi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2019, with the headline 'Access to resources helps narrow income gap'. Print Edition | Subscribe