Sunday Times: WP: Don’t forget workers’ sacrifices

THE PAP government has been “painting a rosy picture” of Singapore’s economy, but it shouldn’t forget workers’ sacrifices, the Workers’ Party (WP) said yesterday.

In its May Day message released to the media, the opposition party called on the Government to bring down the high living costs.

“We must temper the exuberance of the People’s Action Party in highlighting the statistical economic growth by reminding them of the sacrifices the workers have made through steep reductions to Central Provident Fund contribution rates,” said the message, signed by second assistant secretary-general James Gomez. The WP has one MP in Parliament, Mr Low Thia Khiang (Hougang).

In his May Day message to Singaporeans yesterday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong acknowledged the sacrifices Singaporeans had made and their contribution to last year’s good growth.

“This was a result of Singaporeans working together, staying united in purpose, and accepting sacrifices together,” he said.

The WP also took issue with last year’s change in law exempting companies from paying staff the stipulated minimum rate for working overtime.

Apart from possible abuse by firms, the exemption – meant to help firms stay competitive and flexible – could make poorer workers worse off, warned the WP.

The party also criticised the Government for giving integrated resorts (IRs) the green light.

“The Workers’ Party has no issue with IRs,” it stressed, but pointed out the potential social fallout of the accompanying casinos.

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