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Calvin Cheng says both the PAP’s and the WP’s positions on minimum wage are overstated

Mr Cheng said that the Workers Party insists that the minimum wage has business support and will not cause unemployment while the PAP is saying that minimum wage can become no wage and people will get laid off

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Both the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) and the Workers’ Party’s (WP) positions on minimum wage “are over-stated”, said former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng.

In a Facebook post on Tuesday (Oct 13), Mr Cheng weighed in on the entire minimum wage issue.

“The Workers Party insists that the minimum wage has business support and will not cause unemployment.
The PAP continues saying that minimum wage can become no wage – people will get laid off”, he wrote.

“Both positions are over-stated”, said Mr Cheng.

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Calling a minimum wage “an act of national solidarity”, Workers’ Party chief Pritam Singh on Monday (Oct 12) pushed for a universal minimum wage with S$1,300 as a base.

Mr Cheng’s wrote that a wage floor – below which wages are not allowed to fall – will cause unemployment if it is too high and will be rejected by businesses.

If it is set low enough, it will not, he added.

Mr Cheng said that the problem with a minimum wage was that “It is usually set at a level low enough to be accepted by businesses and does not cause unemployment.
This usually also means it DOES NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE!”

As with the WP’s suggestion, he exemplified that cleaners and security guards in Singapore are “already making more than $1300”.

There are very very few Singaporeans who are making less than S$1,300 a month.
The people who will benefit from the Workers’ Party’s national minimum wage will instead be foreign workers and maids. (you cannot exclude foreigners, otherwise employers will just employ more foreigners)”, Mr Cheng wrote.

MINIMUM WAGEThe Workers Party has been pushing the idea of a $1300 national minimum wage.The Workers Party insists…

Posted by Calvin Cheng on Monday, 12 October 2020

In his Facebook post on Monday (Oct 12), Mr Pritam wrote that a universal minimum wage for the Singaporean worker is not just a moral imperative, it is “even more relevant in today’s economic environment”.

The Leader of the Opposition added that the government’s minimum wage approach takes into consideration aspects such as sectoral productivity and career progression, all of which cannot be objectionable. /TISG

Read related: WP chief Pritam Singh pushes for universal minimum wage with S$1,300 base

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