SINGAPORE: Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC) explained why he has called for an increase in the allowances for NS men in a post on his blog on May 30 (Tuesday).
Mr Giam had asked the Defense Minister in February if raising the allowances of full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) could be considered, given inflationary pressures and higher costs of living.
He was told by Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How’s that MINDEF does indeed regularly review and adjust NS men’s allowances, which supports their basic personal upkeep.
The WP MP followed up his initial question by asking if this allowance may be pegged to inflation, which would minimise the lag time between higher living costs and pay adjustments.
He also asked that the next review be made earlier due to the high and persistent inflation the country has been experiencing.
Mr Heng answered that when NS allowances are calibrated, the Government will be monitoring price increases.
In his post, the WP MP noted that on May 29 (Monday), it was announced that all national servicemen in the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force will be receiving a bump in their allowances of up to $200 starting from July 1 of this year.
“This is welcome news for the tens of thousands of NSFs who are supporting and defending the Constitution, preserving and protecting the honour and independence of our country, upholding the law, and protecting and saving lives,” wrote Mr Giam.
The Aljunied GRC MP had said in a post-budget 2023 Townhall held by the WP on Mar 25 that he argued for the allowance of NS men to be “pegged to inflation because inflation has gone up a lot, and NS pay hasn’t.”
“Currently it is not pegged to inflation, although the NS allowance is meant to reimburse the national service men for the expenses that they spend outside of camp for example taking transport, food, and all that,” he said. /TISG