Any increase in an industry's wages must also consider its potential negative consequences (Wages of 40,000 private security staff to go up, Nov 13).
The higher manpower cost will be passed on to consumers, and it is those who are struggling, such as retirees, who will bear the full brunt of this inflation.
Singapore cannot rely on progressive wage increases indefinitely.
A more measured way could be to allow more people to be eligible for the Workfare Income Supplement scheme by extending it to workers under 35 as well as those earning up to $2,600 a month. Payouts could also be enhanced.
The Government must explore other means to fund this increase such as the goods and services tax, higher income tax for top earners, a wealth tax, estate taxes, a capital gains tax or even a travel tax.
The pandemic is not over yet, and the spread of the virus could yet disrupt economies again if immunity wanes.
Companies cannot continue to sustain high overheads while not passing higher wage costs to consumers because of their already thin margin in this competitive market. Somehow, someone must pay.
Sim Joo Geok