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GE2020: Reform Party launches manifesto focusing on building 'fairer' society for Singaporeans

GE2020: Reform Party launches manifesto focusing on building 'fairer' society for Singaporeans

A man reads a Reform Party leaflet in a hawker centre in Ang Mo Kio, Jun 27, 2020. (Photo: Christy Yip)

SINGAPORE: The Reform Party on Friday (Jun 26) launched its manifesto for General Election 2020, focusing on building a "better and fairer society for Singaporeans".

The party launched the manifesto and its campaign slogan "Build Back Better, Fairer" in a post on the party's website, highlighting the "unprecedented global economic and health crisis" facing Singapore.

"This is a particular threat to Singapore’s ability to continue to prosper as we are already over-reliant on global trade and the Government’s economic model of over-saving and running huge Budget and current account surpluses," said the party.

"While we do not criticise the relatively large and unprecedented amounts that the Government is spending in an effort to protect Singaporeans’ jobs and livelihoods, we believe that it is still not enough," it added.

READ: GE2020: Reform Party launches green manifesto calling for 'as close as possible' net zero emissions by 2050

The party estimated that Singapore has "at least S$1.5 trillion" in its reserves, and could afford to spend an additional S$60 billion each year from it. The party did not detail how it derived the numbers.  

"As we deal with this crisis we will need to build back Singapore and this is an opportunity to build back better and fairer," said the party.

"Because of the severity of the economic crisis hundreds of thousands of ordinary hard-working Singaporeans face the risk of losing their jobs through no fault of their own," it added.

The manifesto outlined policy proposals including suspending the Goods and Services Tax for 2020 and 2021, followed by a review to eliminate it on certain essential categories of spending such as food, utilities and medicines.

It also called for unemployment benefits of up to six months, based on 75 per cent of the last-drawn salary and capped at S$2,500 a month.

Seniors over the age of 65 would receive benefits of S$500 a month. Children whose families are "at or below 1.5 median incomes" would receive S$300 a month, according to the proposal.

The Reform Party also called for universal healthcare and free university education for people who have served National Service.

It proposed a minimum wage of S$10 an hour, saying this will "ensure more jobs go to Singaporeans and better wages for foreign workers".

The party also proposed that the minimum salary for the employment pass be raised to S$5,000, from S$3,900 currently.

People who have not done National Service should also pay additional tax, it proposed.

"These proposals will allow us to build a fairer and better society for all Singaporeans (and) not just an elite few," it added.

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Source: CNA/dv(aj)

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