Singapore GE2020: Key proposals from Progress Singapore Party's manifesto

The PSP is calling for collective redevelopment of all old HDB flats, and wants to peg the prices of new flats to income levels. The Progress Singapore Party, among other proposals in its manifesto, wants to introduce a living wage in all sectors, wh
The Progress Singapore Party, among other proposals in its manifesto, wants to introduce a living wage in all sectors, which is a minimum salary that meets the costs of living for workers here, after the economy stabilises.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
The PSP is calling for collective redevelopment of all old HDB flats, and wants to peg the prices of new flats to income levels. The Progress Singapore Party, among other proposals in its manifesto, wants to introduce a living wage in all sectors, wh
The PSP is calling for collective redevelopment of all old HDB flats, and wants to peg the prices of new flats to income levels. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) yesterday launched its manifesto for the upcoming general election, with You Deserve Better as its campaign slogan.

With proposals focused on a more compassionate approach to policymaking, the 13-page manifesto outlines the party's vision for Singapore in three broad areas: economy, social and politics.

Here are key points from the PSP manifesto, presented by the party's vice-chairman Hazel Poa:

JOBS FOR SINGAPOREANS

The PSP proposes limiting the number of foreign workers here by introducing a quota for employment passes and lowering the existing quota for S Passes and work permits issued.

The party will also review free trade agreements, especially those that touch on labour exchange, such as the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.

LIVING WAGE

After the economy stabilises, the PSP wants to introduce a living wage in all sectors, which is a minimum salary that meets the costs of living for workers here.

It will also increase the amount given out under the Workfare Income Supplement scheme, and raise the cash portion of the payout from 40 per cent to 80 per cent. The scheme is targeted at local workers whose earnings are in the bottom 20 per cent, with some support for those slightly above, through a mix of Central Provident Fund top-ups and cash payouts.

CENTRAL PROVIDENT FUND (CPF)

The party is calling for the amount that can be withdrawn from the CPF when an individual reaches 55 to be increased. While CPF members can currently withdraw up to $5,000 from the CPF Ordinary Account and Special Account after 55, the PSP is calling for the amount to be raised to $50,000.

 
 

It is also calling for premiums for the basic health insurance plan, MediShield Life, to be paid for by the Government.

TAXES AND FEES

The PSP wants to freeze all tax and fee increases for the next five years. The Government has said that the goods and services tax (GST), which will remain at 7 per cent next year, will have to be raised to 9 per cent by 2025. Basic necessities, such as rice and cooking oil, will also be exempt from GST under the PSP's plan.

HOUSING

The party is calling for collective redevelopment of all old Housing Board flats. It will also peg the prices of new flats to income levels. For example, four-room flats, which are the "middle housing types", explained Ms Poa, will be tied to the median income level so they remain affordable regardless of the economic situation.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND EXPRESSION

 
 

The PSP will review the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act, Singapore's anti-fake news law, which was passed in May last year.

PUBLIC SERVICE

Ministerial salaries should be cut and pegged to the country's me-dian income, according to the PSP's manifesto.

The party is also calling for public spending to be frugal, and huge projects such as Changi Airport's Terminal 5 to be subject to greater scrutiny. Public services, including public transport and utilities, should also not be profit-making.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2020, with the headline 'Key proposals from Progress Singapore Party's manifesto'. Print Edition | Subscribe