Mr Kew Yoong Sian 

Design executive

WHEN Mr Kew Yoong Sian joined interior design firm IDV Concepts last August, a pay increase was not his top concern.

The 26-year-old looked forward to closer working relationships with his colleagues, compared to a larger firm he had worked in before. But he recognised that at small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), annual raises were not guaranteed.

He said: "They do have a yearly salary increment but all that will still depend on the company performance and, of course, my own performance."

The new Wage Credit Scheme, however, will help firms with their wage burden - and perhaps, make it more likely for salaries to rise.

Mr Kew earns slightly more than $3,000.

This puts him below the $4,000 monthly salary cap for the scheme, under which the Government funds 40 per cent of wage increases given from 2013 to 2015.

"It's good that the Government is helping SMEs with our salary increments," he said. "I feel quite hopeful and motivated by this scheme. It's definitely an encouragement."

His firm's business development manager, Ms Jen Lee, said the firm was still waiting for more details of the scheme before deciding on increasing salaries.

For more news and analysis on Singapore Budget 2013, click here for ST's Big Story coverage.