Straits Times: Opposition MP Low has valid concerns

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I REFER to the parliamentary exchanges between the People’s Action Party (PAP) Members of Parliament and opposition MP Low Thia Khiang in yesterday’s reports, ‘Lively debate over Jobs Credit plan’ and ‘Is scheme to save jobs truly effective, asks Low’.

The rebuttals by the PAP MPs showed that they had failed to understand the nub of Mr Low’s concern, which was whether the Jobs Credit scheme was truly effective.

I wish that subsequent questions by the PAP MPs, directed at the opposition, could have been more carefully thought through. The context of Mr Low’s query was that the Government had, in the past, adopted policies which were tried and tested.

As Jobs Credit is new and requires huge monetary resources of some $4.9 billion, or a quarter of the entire Budget allocation this year, it is only natural to ask questions about its effectiveness.

In the midst of the current economic outlook, it would be better to place our resources on ongoing programmes that are effective in preventing companies from collapsing.

I am not advocating that we should not consider out-of-the-box answers. But I do not see the sustainability of the Jobs Credit programme.

As Mr Low has cautioned, the programme does not have strings attached.

Shouldn’t there be a condition that companies benefiting from the scheme must not retrench their staff for at least six months?

Such a caveat will ensure that the programme will prevent retrenchments.

Joey Yeo

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