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SDP launches campaign for GE; calls for retrenchment benefits and income for retirees

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has launched a campaign focusing on a post-Covid-19 Singapore for the next General Election, which needs to be held by April next year.

SDP launches campaign for GE; calls for retrenchment benefits and income for retirees

SDP’s Chee Soon Juan speaking to the media before their blood donation drive on March 14, 2020. The party has launched a campaign called 4Y1N, which stands for “four yes, one no”.

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has launched a campaign focusing on a post-Covid-19 Singapore for the next General Election, which needs to be held by April next year.

Titled 4Y1N, which stands for “four yes, one no”, the campaign sets out a plan for ordinary Singaporeans affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the political party said in a media release on Tuesday (April 28).

“The Covid-19 pandemic has wrought major and irrevocable changes to the politico-socio-economic landscape in Singapore,” the party said in its statement.

“In view of the rise in retrenchments and pay cuts in the aftermath of the Covid crisis resulting in heightened income and social inequality, the SDP has set out a plan to protect the ordinary people from being further disadvantaged and exploited.”

The SDP said the 4Y1N campaign addresses the concerns of Singaporeans in two ways: First, by taking care of their immediate necessities during and immediately after the Covid-19 pandemic and, second, by ensuring that longer-term problems are dealt with.

The “four yes, one no” refers to:

Yes to suspending goods and services tax (GST)

The SDP proposes that the GST be cut to zero until the end of 2021, as it is a regressive tax that will hurt the poor more than the rich.

Suspending the GST would help stimulate the economy and help businesses, said the SDP.

The Government earlier announced that a planned hike in the GST from 7 per cent to 9 per cent will be delayed and not take effect in 2021.

Yes to retrenchment benefits

The SDP proposed a programme where the Government will pay workers who are retrenched as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic for 18 months.

It suggested that the authorities pay a worker 75 per cent of his or her last drawn salary for the first six months after retrenchment, 50 per cent for the next six months and 25 per cent for the last six months. The amount paid will be capped at the median wage.

Yes to income for retirees

The SDP proposed that the Government provides the bottom 80 per cent of retirees over 65 years old S$500 every month.

The party cited the household expenditure survey, which showed that the average retiree household receives about S$500 as income from their working children.

“With retrenchments and pay cuts expected to rise as a result of Covid-19, working adults will find it even harder to provide for their own children and take care of their retired parents at the same time,” said the SDP.

The S$500 payout will reduce the financial pressure on younger working adults, it added.

Yes to putting people first

The SDP said that the situation for Singaporeans has been made worse by the Government’s mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes ordering Singaporeans not to wear masks if they are well and not addressing the dire living conditions of the foreign worker dormitories sooner despite early warnings.

It said that the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP) is willing to sacrifice public health and safety for its own political interests by insisting on calling for a GE in the midst of the crisis.

No to 10 million population

The SDP said it will push the PAP to not raise the population in Singapore to 10 million.

The suggestion that the city-state should plan for a population of 10 million to remain sustainable was brought up by former chief planner Mr Liu Thai Kher in 2014.

The SDP said Singapore’s population is already at 5.7 million and is expected to hit 6.9 million in a few years’ time.

“Already, it cannot competently contain the outbreak of Covid-19 which spreads faster as the population density increases. Also, our economy has become overly dependent on foreign workers especially PMETs (professionals, managers, executives, technicians),” said the party.

Related topics

SDP General Election 4Y1N SGVotes2020

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