SINGAPORE: The government has announced a review of its Progressive Wage Credit Scheme (PWCS) in a bid to better uplift lower-wage workers.

The Progressive Wage Credit Scheme, introduced to uplift the income of lower-wage workers, presently offers up to 75% support for wage increases granted to eligible individuals. The upcoming review aims to refine and amplify the scheme’s efficacy in addressing the evolving needs of this workforce segment.

Senior Minister of State for Manpower, Zaqy Mohamad, stressed the government’s intention to refine support mechanisms to ensure the financial well-being of all workers, as he announced the impending review yesterday (29 Jan).

The details of the enhanced Progressive Wage Credit Scheme are expected to be unveiled in the upcoming Budget announcement, scheduled for next month.

The anticipation surrounding this announcement stems from the role the PWCS plays in subsidizing wage increments for eligible workers, with the potential to significantly impact the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of employees.

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In 2022, the government disbursed $1 billion of PWCS funding, benefiting 70,000 employers and reaching 345,000 employees. This injection of funds facilitated wage increases across various sectors, with the median monthly wage hike supported by PWCS standing at $300.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has concurrently developed a Progressive Wage Portal designed to empower lower-wage workers by providing a comprehensive understanding of the Progressive Wage Model (PWM). This digital resource equips workers with the knowledge needed to navigate and maximize the benefits offered by the PWM.

Beyond the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme, the government is set to scrutinize the local qualifying salary for lower-wage workers.

As Singapore maintains its position as a global economic hub, addressing income inequality and providing robust support for lower-wage workers remain vital to creating an inclusive and resilient society.

Observers are watching whether the impending enhancements to the Progressive Wage Credit Scheme will truly play a stronger role in fortifying the financial stability of a significant portion of the workforce.