• BY JEREMY AU YONG
THE Workers’ Party (WP) supports labour chief Lim Swee Say’s recent call for employers to raise their contributions to the Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts of workers.
In a Labour Day message released to the media yesterday, the opposition party said it was time for employers to “reward workers for the sacrifices made during the economic crisis”.
It also made a call for the National Wages Council, which is due to release its annual wage guidelines this month, to recommend a pay rise.
Two weeks ago, Mr Lim, who is secretary-general of the National Trades Union Congress, had urged the Government to restore part of employers’ CPF contribution rate.
His call was made after Singapore’s economy grew by an exceptional 13.1 per cent in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.
Since his call, the Singapore National Employers Federation has come around to the idea, fuelling hopes that an increase is on the cards.
Currently, bosses put in 14.5 per cent of a worker’s pay towards his CPF.
The WP message also noted that the Government’s move to slow the inflow of foreign workers has eased anxiety and reduced resentment on the ground.
But the party said it was still concerned about the size of the foreign worker population, which last year numbered around 1.25 million.
“This is because it causes stress on our infrastructure and social facilities. Furthermore, overpopulation also leads to unfair competition for the Singaporean worker. WP will continue to monitor these issues,” it said.
The message also noted the widening income gap and the need to upgrade the skills of low-income workers as continuing challenges for the Government.