Finance Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced yesterday the Budget 2013 plans that are aimed at achieving a fair and more inclusive society.

The following policies from a labour aspect were laid out.

  • Tightening of foreign worker policies

Further policy adjustments will be made in different sectors to continue the growth moderation of the foreign workforce.  Foreign worker levies will be raised across all sectors while eligibility requirements for S Pass and Employment Pass holders will be tightened. Additionally, more cuts will be made to selective Dependency Ratio Ceiling.

  • Wage Credit Scheme (WCS)

Over the next 3 years, 40% of wage increases for Singaporean employees will be co-funded by the Government. Doing so will encourage businesses to raise employee wages. This scheme is applicable to Singaporean employees earning up to a gross monthly income of $4,000.

  • Expand the coverage of Workfare Income Supplement (WIS)

30% of the citizen workforce will benefit from this scheme, which sees the rise of the monthly income ceiling rise to $1,900 a month.

  • Increment of WIS payouts

For workers aged 45 and above, maximum WIS payouts will rise by 25% to 50%, or up to a maximum of $700. Workers will get more help with regards to immediate expenses with the increment of the proportion of cash to CPF. Employer and employee CPF contribution rates for workers earning less than $1,500 per month will be restored to help low-wage workers.

  • Lowering the Personal income tax rebate

Resident taxpayers below 60 years old will receive a 30% rebate capped at $1,500 while those aged 60 and above will received a 50% rebate capped at $1,500.

 

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