Let's talk about a living wage: Singapore should consider a society-wide approach to raising low wages

Singapore should consider a society-wide approach to raising low wages to a level high enough to meet basic needs for people to thrive

In parliamentary debates on Budget 2019 last week, MP Cheryl Chan used an important phrase when speaking of low-income families' needs: a "decent living wage" (Parliament: MP Cheryl Chan urges Govt to consider wealth and inheritance taxes on super-rich individuals, published in The Straits Times on Feb 27).

Inadequate wages are a crucial component of inequality in Singapore. The unemployment rate is relatively low, which means that many people living with low income are already in wage work, but their wages do not pay enough to meet their needs.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2019, with the headline 'Let's talk about a living wage'. Subscribe