Budget 2019 May Focus On Support For ‘Vulnerable’ PMETs
More “forceful policy measures” aimed at helping an “exceptionally vulnerable” segment of the labour force – professional, managers, engineers and technicians (PMETs) – are expected in the upcoming Budget 2019, according to a report by DBS Bank.
Mr Irvin Seah, DBS senior economist and author of the report, noted that for the past nine years, the percentage share of PMETs among all retrenched workers has been rising – and has even surpassed that for lower skilled workers.
“This seems to defy conventional wisdom that being better skilled, the PMETs would be relatively more employable,” said Mr Seah.
Given the rising vulnerability of this labour force segment, Mr Seah expects more forceful policy measures, including:
- Further enhancement to schemes such as the Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) and the Adapt and Grow initiative
- Increased level of wage support
- More resources directed at training and job matching
- A temporary deferment or extension of their income tax payment, or a one-off tax rebate
Besides the focus on PMETs, the report also expects the upcoming Budget to tackle the challenges of an ageing population and healthcare costs.
Similarly, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said last week that Budget 2019 will focus on education and healthcare, as well as security and defense.