SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party will be tracking the Government's efforts in supporting Singaporeans who need the most help, as cost of living will likely be a major pressure point in 2022, said party chief Pritam Singh on Friday (Dec 31).
The party will also expand or launch community schemes such as a bursary for primary school pupils and a subsidy scheme for seniors living alone, said Mr Singh in his second New Year message since becoming Leader of the Opposition.
He said that cost of living will likely be a concern for many Singaporean households, particularly low- to middle-income families, and "most acutely, those with both young children and aged parents to care for".
He noted that higher prices across many basic needs have hit headlines, such as electricity prices, transport fares, medical insurance premiums and accident and emergency hospital charges, among others.
"The WP will track what the Government does to support Singaporeans who need the most help, and how it upgrades its legacy schemes for the circumstances of today and tomorrow, not yesterday."
The Aljunied GRC MP said that together with the WP Community Fund - a charity fund to run community programmes - and a commercial partner, the party in 2021 launched a pilot bursary programme for selected primary school pupils who are residents of Aljunied GRC and Hougang. This will continue in 2022 and will be extended to primary school pupils living in Sengkang GRC.
In collaboration with the fund, the party is also launching a pilot subsidy scheme for seniors living alone who require handyman services in selected WP constituencies in 2022, and progressively extend it to all its constituencies.
Mr Singh noted that the WP had in 2021 moved motions in Parliament related to Housing Board reform and wider access to HDB rental flats, wealth taxes, support for hawkers, eliminating gender discrimination and protecting the environment.
"We have also championed policy ideas that are now being actively considered or implemented by the Government, such as anti-discrimination laws in the workplace, effective minimum wage laws and allowing the tudung (headscarf) to be worn in more public service settings," he said.
He also extended his respect and regards to all front-liners and healthcare workers involved in the pandemic, and thanked civil servants, town council officers and contractors for looking after the well-being and needs of residents living in WP constituencies.