Pioneer, Merdeka Generation Packages: Gig-economy generation may need more help

Younger Singaporeans facing disrupted careers and the uncertainties of a gig economy may accumulate lower CPF balances and need even more help with healthcare financing than past generations

A recent study the writer was involved in showed that for a freelancer embracing the gig economy right from Day 1, CPF monies and, hence, Medisave monies in the current construct are going to be insufficient for many Singaporeans facing the risk of d
A recent study the writer was involved in showed that for a freelancer embracing the gig economy right from Day 1, CPF monies and, hence, Medisave monies in the current construct are going to be insufficient for many Singaporeans facing the risk of disrupted careers.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

An eye-watering $6.1 billion. That is the value of the Merdeka Generation Package (MGP), the details of which were announced by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat earlier this week in the Budget speech.

While Singaporeans are grateful for the MGP's generosity, questions are nonetheless being raised about whether a broader universal health scheme should be introduced to benefit all Singaporeans of all ages instead of ad hoc initiatives such as the MGP and Pioneer Generation Package (PGP). In keeping with the national stance of prudence and fiscal conservatism, there are also concerns about the sustainability of healthcare spending.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2019, with the headline 'Pioneer, Merdeka Generation Packages: Gig-economy generation may need more help'. Print Edition | Subscribe