Review employment pass, workfare income supplement criteria: NTUC

THE Singapore labour movement has submitted its seven-page list of recommendations to the Ministry of Finance ahead of Budget 2016, including requests to review the employment pass (EP) and workfare income supplement criteria.

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) asked the government to re-look the EP criteria, with a view to "meeting the variegated needs of the industries whilst incentivising industries towards building a strong Singaporean core".

It also stressed the need to differentiate between companies that have shown a commitment towards developing Singaporeans, and to tighten enforcement on companies that have done otherwise.

NTUC asked the government to review the workfare income supplement criteria as well, so that it is based on basic wages rather than gross wages, which include income from overtime work.

"We note that this year will be particularly challenging for businesses especially since the issues facing our economy are structural, and not just cyclical. We are comforted that the government is looking beyond the short term to look at ways to restructure the economy on a stronger and more sustainable basis for the future," said NTUC in a press release on Thursday.

Its suggestions focus on four key areas: strengthening the Singaporean core, improving productivity, enhancing training and skills upgrading, and improving retirement adequacy.

This article was first published on February 25, 2016.
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