Business Times, Monday, 24th October 2011
What should “inclusive growth” mean in the Singapore context? What specific measures should the government, and the private sector, adopt to ensure a better life for all in a growing economy?
I would deem “inclusive growth” to mean that all levels of society – be it the lower, middle or upper income groups – are taken into consideration and stand to benefit from the growth of Singapore’s economy. The lower income in particular, should not be left behind as the country grows and prospers.
There are those who argue that social class divide is unavoidable in a maturing society, and this is indeed a tricky issue that continues to elude any clear-cut solution.
One of the measures that is often mooted is social welfare for lower income groups.
However, there are pros and cons to this as we know, and the government’s stand is not to encourage citizens to rely on government handouts.
Perhaps the government could offer the lower income group a combination of monetary assistance, financial rebates and more initiatives in the vein of the Workfare scheme, which offers training support to help low wage workers improve their employability and in turn, increase their salaries.
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