15 March 2013
According to the REACH Post-Budget Feedback Exercise to seek Singaporeans’ views on Budget 2013, the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) was the most hotly discussed Budget 2013 measure.
While the WCS was welcomed by REACH contributors as a generous measure to increase wages for Singaporeans, there were concerns that employers may not be willing to share the productivity gains with their employees, or may try to exploit loopholes in the scheme. In this regard, many felt that it was critical for firms to focus on increasing their productivity.
Although productivity measures such as the Productivity Innovation Credit (PIC) Bonus were generally welcomed, concerns were raised on implementation details (eg whether small firms were able to invest the minimum $5,000 to take advantage of the PIC bonus). Beyond providing a cash incentive, contributors suggested that the Government do more to encourage knowledge transfers or provide productivity solutions to companies.
Other topics discussed included the tightening of foreign worker policies; a more progressive fiscal system (on tiered Additional Registration Fee and Progressive Property Tax); and the direct assistance schemes to help Singaporeans cope with the cost of living.
REACH Chairman Dr Amy Khor said: “Budget 2013 is a bold yet balanced Budget which has been carefully crafted and calibrated to ultimately benefit Singaporeans with better opportunities and more fulfilling lives”, adding that “All these are useful feedback for the Government, as we fine-tune our policies.”