Singapore GE2020: Key proposals from the Progress Singapore Party manifesto

Progress Singapore Party candidate Kumarann Pillai interacts with residents at Mayflower Market and Food Centre on June 28, 2020. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) on Monday (June 29) launched its manifesto for the coming 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 manifesto presented by PSP vice-chairman Hazel Poa:

1. 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 Pass and work permits issued.

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

2. Living wage

After the economy stabilises, the PSP wants to introduce in all sectors a living wage, which is the 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 CPF top-ups and cash payouts.

3. 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The party is calling for the amount that can be withdrawn from the CPF when an individual reaches 55 to be increased.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 their 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.

4. 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.

5. Housing

The party is calling for redevelopment en bloc for 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 that it remains affordable regardless of the economic situation.

6. Freedom of speech and expression

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

7. Public service

Ministerial salaries should be cut and pegged to the country's median 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 Terminal 5 to be subject to greater scrutiny. Public services, including public transport and utilities, should also not be profit-making.

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