Time for minimum wage pilot tests

The conversation on a minimum wage has been going on for too long and it is time to implement pilot tests to see if this model will work for our society ($15 okay for bowl of ramen, but not more than $3 for hawker food?; Dec 2).

We have started with the progressive wage model in some industries, like cleaning and landscaping.

We can perhaps roll this out to other sectors.

Personally, I am not in favour of a minimum wage model as I believe that productivity needs to be higher than wages, or this might create side effects that may be hard to reverse. There is also the argument that productivity can be difficult to measure.

Some of the repercussions of the minimum wage or living wage models are based on academic studies and observations in countries that are currently adopting these structures.

However, we do not know if rolling out the minimum wage system will actually lead to such ill-effects here.

Hence, the Government should look into implementing a minimum wage in some sectors, and closely watch the results.

With technology transforming and disrupting our way of life, there are more pressing issues to tackle.

So, perhaps, it is time to put the minimum wage conversation into action.

Tan Kar Quan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2018, with the headline 'Time for minimum wage pilot tests'. Print Edition | Subscribe