Alex Yam: “I urge that beyond the debate we are now having, we will all need to refocus in future on the real business of government. And that involves keeping our focus on the people of Singapore.
In the Budget statement for 2011, which this House adopted, we pledged collectively that the target is to raise median income of Singaporeans to $3,100 by 2020, which is to say a 30 per cent real wage increase in 10 years. That in my view is a debate that we should truly be having.
That a decrease in allowances or salaries by 99 members of this House will not realise real wage increase for other Singaporeans is not the moot point. What is of importance is that we fulfil that pledge through coherent and well-thought out policies that will help to drive up real take home income of ordinary Singaporeans.
This is where a capable and committed government is important. Mathematically, an average of 2.7 per cent wage increase is required every year over the next 10 years to meet the Goal 2020 target.
But depending on who you ask, different analyses derive different figures on the wage increase for this year. One report indicated a wage increase of about 2.8 per cent but if it includes part-time and casual workers the figure drops to 0.1per cent. In the unionised sector, the projected average Total Basic Wage Adjustment is 4.30 per cent. Numbers can be confusing.”