MPs: Help other groups too

In the debate on the President's Address in Parliament yesterday, several members of Parliament (MP) acknowledged the Government's efforts in uplifting the low income and elderly.

But they also took the chance to ask for more help for other groups.

For instance, the middle income group struggle with the cost of living too, said West Coast GRC MP Foo Mee Har.

Ms Foo called for a rethink of government policies to support this segment of the population.

Unlike the lower income and the elderly, she pointed out that the middle income group, which includes professionals, managers and executives (PMEs), often lack social safety nets, especially when a spouse loses his or her job. Ms Foo's call to protect the rights of the PMEs was echoed by labour MP Patrick Tay.

He is especially concerned about the "vulnerable" mature PMEs, who are threatened by retrenchment.

The Nee Soon GRC MP suggested "unemployment insurance," in the form of subsidies and payments to recognise their years of service, to tide them over while they look for another job.

To help with the upgrading aspirations of the middle class, Ms Foo suggested that Government ease some of the cooling measures, such as collecting the Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD) only when the new property is completed, or scrapping the ABSD if the first flat is sold within a certain period.

This article was first published on May 27, 2014.
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