Additional COVID-19 measures, electricity tariffs and jobs to be discussed in Parliament

Additional COVID-19 measures, electricity tariffs and jobs to be discussed in Parliament

Singapore Parliament file picture
The Parliament of Singapore. (Photo: Parliament of Singapore/Facebook) 

SINGAPORE: The additional COVID-19 measures introduced in Parliament last week, along with issues on electricity tariffs, gas prices and jobs, will be discussed when Parliament sits on Wednesday (Oct 14).

Last week, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat introduced several new support measures in Parliament. He said the Government will continue to focus on alleviating near-term pains over the next six months, so as to help businesses and workers emerge stronger.

“The best way to protect the welfare of our workers is a good job. By helping viable firms stay afloat during this difficult period, they can retain their workers. By helping firms to restructure and retrain their workers, they can emerge stronger,” he said on Oct 5.

READ: Singapore in 'stable position' in COVID-19 fight but must remain vigilant, says DPM Heng

The debate on these additional measures will take place after questions from Members of Parliament (MPs). The questions tabled include those relating to utility rates, jobs, Singapore’s population and public housing.

Mr Liang Eng Hwa asked the Minister for Trade and Industry about the basis for the latest increase in electricity tariffs and gas prices and whether the consumption of electricity and gas has increased as more residents work from home.

READ: Electricity tariff for households to rise by 9.3% in October to December

He also posed a question to the Minister for Manpower on the number of Singaporeans how have sought help from the SGUnited Jobs and Skills Centres, and the rate of success for matches and placements.

In view of Singapore's population statistics for 2019, Ms Poh Li San asked the Prime Minister if the Government will review the long-term population targets given the increasing trend of outsourcing work overseas and reduction in the employment of foreign workers in Singapore.

READ: Singapore’s population declines to 5.69 million, with fewer foreigners

She also asked whether the proportion of annual new citizens will remain at approximately 70 per cent of citizens by birth and how changes in Singapore's population demographics will affect national infrastructure.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh posed two questions on public housing. The first related to the pricing policy of the Housing and Development Board’s Built-to-Order flats and the second was whether if there was a plan to address the pent up demand as a result of record sale prices crossing S$1 million in mature estates.

He also enquired about the take-up rate for two-room HDB Flexi flats for the first half of 2020, especially for retirees and singles, and if the Ministry of National Development would consider building more of such flats to meet the demand.

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Source: CNA/aa(ac)

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