Parliament Briefs: 20 workplace deaths in first half of 2018

20 workplace deaths in first half of 2018

There were 20 workplace deaths in the first half of the year, with most coming from sectors such as construction, manufacturing and commercial diving.

Minister of State for Manpower Zaqy Mohamad cited "improper work methods" as a common cause of the deaths.

He added that the Manpower Ministry was working with companies to raise awareness of accident risks. It has issued reminders on proper procedures for doing construction work at height, for instance, as falls accounted for about half of construction fatalities this year.

On average, foreigners made up 88 per cent of the fatalities, even though they comprised 75 per cent of the construction workforce.


Electronic records also subject to stamp duty

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has introduced legislation to extend stamp duty to cover electronic records that allow for the transfer of property and shares.

Transactions of property and shares are typically done on paper today. Stamp duty is a tax paid on such legal documents.

The Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill seeks to clarify that electronic records will also be subject to stamp duty.

Noting the potential for more property and share transactions to be effected electronically in future, the MOF said the move protects Singapore's revenue base, raising revenue from a variety of sources including from asset transfers.

There will be no change to tax rates or rules, it added.


Digitisation of driving licences under review

The Traffic Police is looking into whether driving licences should be changed to an electronic format, said Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam in a written reply to a parliamentary question.

He added that more information will be released when the review is completed, though he did not give a date.

Provisional driving licences, which are issued to learners to drive or ride in training circuits and on public roads, have gone digital since last year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2018, with the headline 'Parliament Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe