Younger Singaporeans Are Being Squeezed Financially, Says MP
According to Member of Parliament (MP) Ong Teng Koon on Wednesday (February 27), young couples who are starting their own families are being squeezed financially due to rising costs and uncertainty over income.
Mr Ong raised the issue on the second day of the Budget debate in parliament. He noted that young Singaporeans – young couples in particular – have to grapple with wedding expenses, buying their first home and starting a family. These can put couples under “intense financial pressure”, he said.
As the job market moves towards contract and freelance work, couples face uncertainty over income. Mr Ong points out that retrenchment is now no longer an uncommon event.
To offset the high costs of starting a new family, Mr Ong suggested increasing subsidies in areas like childcare and school bus fees.
On the other hand, Nominated MP Abbas Ali Mohamed Irshad proposed reducing the qualifying age for the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme, which currently supplements income and retirement savings of eligible workers who are aged 35 and above. Reducing the qualifying age would help younger, low-income Singaporeans start families.
Mr Abbas also suggested increasing the cash-to-CPF ratio so that couples will have more cash on hand.