GE2020: ‘Substantial’ government spending needed to combat COVID-19 economic fallout, says Reform Party
SINGAPORE: The Reform Party (RP) wants to see “substantial government spending” to combat the immediate economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to effect “lasting change” in the country’s economic model.
“Vastly improved” social safety systems, universal health care, cash handouts to households, a pension for seniors and a minimum wage were proposed by the RP’s Charles Yeo during his televised party political broadcast on Thursday (Jul 2) night.
“There should be an end to the cruel policy of austerity,” said Mr Yeo, a criminal defence lawyer who is contesting in Ang Mo Kio GRC at this General Election.
“We can afford this. Our plans are costed,” he added, referring to the party’s manifesto that was released on Jun 26.
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Singapore is facing its “worst economic crisis since independence”, he said, adding that many have lost their jobs and businesses. He warned that there could be “more job losses to come”.
“The Government has dropped the ball on this one, but we can recover,” he said.
As Singapore recovers from the pandemic, citizens can choose to “build back” a country that is “better for all and fairer in every sense”.
As for why the party is standing in this election, Mr Yeo said that publicly serving Singaporeans is the “highest patriotic duty”.
“We show our love for Singapore best by holding the Government to account through an efficient opposition in Parliament,” he said.
“Checks and balances from the opposition are a positive contribution.”
If elected, the RP candidates have the skills that would make them “good and dedicated” Members of Parliament who will be a “safe pair of hands” to manage the town council, Mr Yeo said.
He added that RP’s secretary-general Kenneth Jeyaretnam, who is currently serving a 14-day stay-home notice, is someone who is “good with numbers and tenacious in pursuit of accountability”.
“He is equally diligent working through your problems at the individual and community level,” Mr Yeo said.