Singapore GE2020: Reform Party announces campaign slogan, manifesto

Reform Party chairman Andy Zhu greets residents on a walkabout in Ang Mo Kio on June 25, 2020. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - The Reform Party (RP) has announced its campaign slogan and party manifesto for the coming general election, with a focus on rebuilding Singapore following the economic impact of Covid-19.

The party on Friday (June 26) said its campaign slogan for GE2020 of "Build Back Better, Fairer" comes as the country faces an unprecedented global economic and health crisis, "the likes of which we have never seen in our lifetimes".

"This is a particular threat to Singapore's ability to continue to prosper, as we are already over-reliant on global trade and the Government's economic model of over-saving and running huge Budget and current account surpluses," RP posted on its Facebook page just before midnight.

The party said that it is not criticising government spending to protect Singaporeans' jobs and livelihoods, but believes that it is not enough.

It added that Singapore can spend an additional $60 billion every year from its reserves, which the party estimates to be at least $1.5 trillion. It did not elaborate on how it derived the number.

Among some of the RP's policy proposals include suspending the Goods and Services Tax for this year and the next, and a review to eliminate it on certain essential categories of spending, such as food, utilities and medicine.

It is also calling for an unemployment benefit of up to six months, based on 75 per cent of a person's last-drawn salary, capped at $2,500 a month.

Seniors aged above 65 would also receive $500 a month, while children whose families are at or below the 1.5 median income would receive $300 a month, under the party's proposal.

RP is also calling for universal healthcare, and free university education for those who have served national service.

Its proposal of a minimum wage of $10 per hour "will ensure more jobs will go to Singaporeans and better wages for foreign workers", it added.

The minimum salary for employment passes should also be raised to at least $5,000 a month, with a cap on the total number of passes given out, RP said.

Currently, the minimum qualifying salary for employment passes is $3,900 for new applications.

RP is also proposing additional tax for employment pass holders who have not done NS.

"These proposals will allow us to build a fairer and better society for all Singaporeans, not just an elite few," said RP.

The party had indicated on Wednesday that it will be contesting Ang Mo Kio GRC and the single-seat wards of Radin Mas and Yio Chu Kang, which may see RP in a three-cornered fight with the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) and People's Action Party.

On Thursday, RP chairman Andy Zhu said PSP had failed to honour its side of the agreement to withdraw from Yio Chu Kang, after RP pulled out of West Coast GRC.

PSP has since refuted the allegation, saying there was no such agreement.

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