Spotlight on pressing issues facing societies

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam sharing his views at a panel discussion yesterday at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. With him are (from left) moderator and Bloomberg TV editor-at-large Francine Lacqua, former New York mayor Michael Bloo
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam sharing his views at a panel discussion on Wednesday at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum. With him are (from left) moderator and Bloomberg TV editor-at-large Francine Lacqua, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The most pressing problems facing advanced societies are jobs, healthcare expenses and the pension systems that threaten to overburden their young people, said three global leaders at a forum on the world outlook for next year.

But there is a lack of political will today to tackle these issues, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said yesterday.

Fellow panellist and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg believes "the great challenge is not income inequality''. "It's how do you create jobs for people who want the dignity of coming home and saying, 'I contributed something', " he said.

Leaders also commented on the trade war between the US and its major trading partners.

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2018, with the headline 'Spotlight on pressing issues facing societies'. Print Edition | Subscribe