Tuesday, 17 January 2012

FT policy may have helped widen income gap: panel

FT policy may have helped widen income gap: panel
[Commentary : We already knew that the FT Policy is flawed. No doubt we need specialized talent in Singapore and Singaporeans do not want to do menial jobs, however, the infrastructure, capacity and space to accomodate influxs in Singapore is very different compared to USA or Australia.

The panel also questioned the desirability of Singapore continuing to rely on cheap foreign labour to remain competitive as he pointed out that heavy reliance on foreign workers will not lead to increasing wage shares for Singaporeans.

They have captured the ground's swell of resentment succintly :-

“There is a high degree of anxiety among young professionals on whether they can make it in Singapore (and) whether the government is prepared to give them a fair chance in this tough competition. If the middle-class feels that you work so hard and then you try to move up the income ladder but then lo and behold, you‘re competing with all these permanent residents – where’s the home court advantage?”.

Here is a case in point,

Employee A, Singaporean male, works in MNC technology company, has a science degree, a family of two kids and elderly parents. He starts work at 9 am after dropping off the kids at school. Does his best to complete his work and leaves at 5.30pm to get back and have dinner with parents and kids, works on the laptop just to try to catch up. Home is a modest 5 room HDB flat. Once maybe twice a year, he is called up for NS Reservist training for 2 weeks and has to attend remedial training for 20 evenings a year as he never had time to train for IPPT.

Employee B, foreigner, no family in Singapore, works for the same technology company, has a science degee too, but since he has ample time, he registers for a part-time MBA, he starts work at 6am, does the part of the work for another colleague, joins additional tasks force teams (and other wayang wayang) within the company, leaves the office at 7pm for his classes. Home is an expat package provided for condo.

You may argue, who is the happier and fulfilled person, it may be Employee A, but in the MNC company's eyes the more valuable person is Employee B because of what he gives all his time to the company and not to the nation or family/children. In bad times, whose head is first on the chopping block?]

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