Singapore—After it was announced on Monday (June 7) that the salaries of cleaners will go up from 2023, lawyer and opposition leader Lim Tean said there was “no good reason” why it would take so long for the salary hike to take effect.
Mr Lim said in a Facebook post on Tuesday (June 8) that many of his readers had asked why the wage increase for cleaners was still over a year away.
“Why do cleaners have to wait until July 2023 for higher wages?” he asked.
He added, “After all, petrol taxes were imposed overnight. The government is quick to collect money but slow when it comes to pay increments for our low-income workers.”
The Government accepted proposals from the Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners (TCC) for the wage hike. The cleaners’ pay will go up every year for six years from 2023 onwards.
Cleaners who are citizens and permanent residents of Singapore will receive salaries ranging from S$1,570 to S$2,210 in 2023. This amount will grow by at least S$170 a year till 2028 under the country’s progressive wage model.
According to a joint media statement from the TCC and the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), “This is a timely and necessary review to recognise the importance and higher value of work shouldered by our cleaners, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Proponents of the wage increase have emphasised the importance of the roles cleaners play, especially during the pandemic.
Commenters on Mr Lim’s post tended to agree with him.
One decried what he perceived as a lack of “empathy for the working class in society”.
Others also showed sympathy for those from lower-income groups.
Some netizens brought up the salaries of Singapore’s ministers, who are among the highest-paid in the world.
One commenter said that if salary increases are delayed for some, the Goods and Services Tax should also be delayed.
Others brought up the fact that a number of cleaners are older, and may not be around to enjoy higher wages.
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