Ministries to unveil plans for more caring society from Monday

Ministries to unveil plans for more caring society from Monday
President Tony Tan meeting ex-President Nathan at the Pioneer Generation Tribute at The Istana.

The various ministries will be unveiling plans to strengthen social safety nets as Singaporeans enjoy more opportunities to build a better lives for themselves from Monday.

They will be sharing these plans in public statements, known as Addenda to the President's Address. Parliament will sit for a week  after that to debate these plans.

The following is an official release of the Addenda to the President's address:

SINGAPORE - While most Singaporeans enjoy more opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families, many feel more anxieties and uncertainties about the future. To address their worries and give all Singaporeans greater peace of mind, the government will strengthen our social safety nets. Our philosophy is upstream prevention, providing more for those with less and sharing the risks of life's uncertainties so that no one has to deal with his problems alone. Underlying this is the spirit of a caring society, where we care for one another and share the fruits of progress with all.

We recognise that older Singaporeans are concerned over their retirement income and eldercare options. The government will do more to help the vulnerable and elderly. The Pioneer Generation Package will honour this special group through extra support for their healthcare needs. We will also improve the healthcare system for all Singaporeans. By 2020, we will build 6 new polyclinics and add over 11,000 beds in our acute hospitals, community hospitals and nursing homes. We will keep healthcare affordable, through government subsidies, Medisave and the new Medishield Life, which will be implemented by the end of next year.

The Retirement and Re-employment Act (RRA) has enabled Singaporeans to continue working longer. Together with unions and the corporate sector, we will study the experience with the RRA, with a view to further extending the re-employment age beyond 65.

We will review and enhance financing schemes to help with the cost of severe old-age disability and long-term care. We will enhance the current system of CPF savings and the CPF Life annuity scheme, to enable Singaporeans to be better provided for in retirement, and to give them peace of mind.

The government will work with our tripartite partners to do more for the lower-income and disadvantaged groups. We will roll out the Progressive Wage Model in relevant sectors, and put in place career progression pathways for our workers to upgrade themselves and gain better wages. This will complement existing schemes like the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) and the Special Employment Credit (SEC), and make older, low-wage workers more employable. We will also build a more integrated network of social service agencies to help individuals and families walk through the difficult times together.

The community and family play a critical role in realising a caring society. We will continue to reinforce the central role of the family in our society and help young people start their families. We will have more programmes to promote family life and strengthen marriages, and more eldercare and childcare services to support caregivers. We will support community initiatives so that all who wish to contribute to the community can do so in sustained and impactful ways. Together, we will build a nation with a giving spirit and foster a more caring society.

Continued: Initiatives by various ministries to achieve a more caring society

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