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Workfare Income Supplement benefits consumers through lowering of costs

Workfare Income Supplement costs the government $850 million a year and benefits half a million Singaporeans including persons with disabilities and the self-employed.

Since its introduced in 2007, a total of $7.8 billion has been paid out to some 930,000 people and low income households in the 20th percentile have seen their real income grew cumulatively by 40% through Workfare Income Supplement.

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Meet the people who have been faithfully speaking up and working to uplift low wager workers including the 'father' of Progressive Wage Model.

Mr Lim Swee Say believes that these workers must be assured of career progression and that wage growth should not be stagnant. He believes that workers can upskill, be promoted and hence receive higher salaries. Therefore, he designed the PWM to be a wage ladder rather than Minimum Wage which would become a wage ceiling. It is this unwavering belief that saw the birth of the PWM and the uplifting of lower wage workers!

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Brother G. Muthukumarasamy

The Amalgamated Union of Public Daily Rated Workers (AUPDRW) which has faithfully served daily-rated workers in the public sector for almost three decades through various programmes and initiatives, has finally ceased to be and it is good news. From now on, no more daily rated workers. Gone will be the days when you don't get paid on that day you can't work.

These things do not happen overnight. Union leaders work hard with many meetings and discussions to finally convert all daily rated workers to the monthly scheme. The results are higher wages, better benefits and more salary progression. This is how workers' welfare is lifted.

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Strengthening our social compact in an uncertain and complex global future

Strengthening our social compact will have to go beyond Government measures and redistributive policies. Each of us has to play a part. We must build on the strengths that we have: a sense of unity, a creative capacity and our social compact which has given each one a stake in our country.

But there is nothing intrinsically enduring about these strengths. Our founding generation built these strengths from nothing, through their wits and will. As quickly as these strengths have blossomed, they can also wither if we do not adapt. Each of us must continue to deepen our own values, grow our adaptive capacity, and build meaningful relationships with the people around us. Above all, we must commit to growing new strengths.

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Creativity and willingness to go against the tide got us where we are today: Heng

Creativity and willingness to go against the tide brought us where we are today. We did not succeed by insulating ourselves from the world.

It is impossible to “bubble wrap” Singaporeans from foreign competition and still expect to succeed. Instead, we should embrace both openness and equip our people with the experience and skills to succeed – this is how we will thrive in a rapidly evolving world. This way, our workers can remain confident about their position in the world, and know that they can continue to make a difference – not just when they are fresh out of school, but throughout life, Mr Heng said.

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