The rich must do part to alleviate inequality

Office workers in the Central Business District.
Office workers in the Central Business District. PHOTO: ST FILE

Research has shown that our Gini coefficient is comparatively higher than that of many developed countries (Why we should care less about inequality in S'pore, June 1).

Many Singaporeans are still struggling to make a living, and rely on the Government for assistance.

While nobody should fault the wealthy for generating higher value-added contributions to justify higher incomes, those who are wealthy should also be mindful that they could not have done well without the support and services of many less wealthy workers.

To improve social equality and mobility, Singaporeans cannot just rely on the Government to help redistribute wealth more equitably and efficiently.

The wealthy should be willing to pay higher wages and higher taxes, and also contribute to improving working conditions, strengthening labour laws, and donating their time, talents and resources to improve society.

In addition, they should help to improve the capacity and capability of their workers and strengthen prospects for employment and employability so as to help the workers earn higher wages.

They should also look at ways to hire, retain and help those who are challenged in finding a job due to physical and other conditions.

A better living and working environment for workers can in turn help those who are better off to generate better financial results.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2019, with the headline 'The rich must do part to alleviate inequality'. Print Edition | Subscribe