WP pleased by 'shift' towards inclusive nation: Sylvia Lim

Ms Lim said her party had long advocated for some of the changes.

SINGAPORE - The Workers' Party (WP) is pleased to hear of the "shift" towards a nation where "we are all in this together", its chairman Sylvia Lim said on Monday night in a response to the Prime Minister's National Day Rally speech.

Its reason? Ms Lim said her party had "long advocated" for two of the priorities PM Lee Hsien Loong set out in his annual address on Sunday: strengthening safety nets and boosting social mobility.

"The Workers' Party has long advocated that the Government needs to move in this direction, to give Singaporeans security and peace of mind in an increasingly competitive environment where not everyone can thrive on their own," she said in a statement yesterday.

Ms Lim also highlighted, among other things, policy changes which she said the WP had called for.

One is the new MediShield Life health insurance scheme, which she said is in line with the WP's call for a universal hospitalisation insurance to cover acute hospital bills.

The new scheme is a universal, compulsory scheme that will cover all Singaporeans regardless of age or pre-existing medical conditions for life.

The other is to give Edusave accounts to students in madrasah religious schools.

Ms Lim said the WP had called for more holistic development of students instead of grooming them for high-stakes examinations.

She described the changes in education as "incremental shifts in this direction".

On housing, she said the Government has "changed its gauge" for the affordability of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats, basing it on paying off home loans in 25 years, instead of 30.

"This falls short of the WP's preference of a loan period of 20 years," Ms Lim said, adding that the revision will be welcomed by those in BTO queues.

Implementation, however, is key, she said in conclusion.

She added: "We await the concrete implementation of the directions announced at the National Day Rally 2013."

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