Singapore — The opposition Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) is promoting a minimum wage of S$1,760 a month for full-time workers, amid continuing discussion of the Workers’ Party’s (WP) proposal of a universal minimum wage of S$1,300 — the amount  the Government estimates is required to meet basic needs.

A minimum wage has been the subject of renewed debate, including in Parliament, since it was included in the WP manifesto for the General Election this year.

However, the SDP says that S$1,300 is not a sufficient monthly amount to meet the needs of Singaporean workers. In a statement released on Friday (Oct 23), it said that a minimum wage is “needed to provide for an adequate living standard” and serves as a tool to prevent employers from exploiting workers.

Implementing a minimum wage also serves to signal to the values Singapore wants to adhere to and to ensure that workers are adequately compensated so they can lead a life with dignity, according to the SDP.

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Calling Singapore an exception, in that it is one of the few societies without a national minimum wage, the SDP pointed out that it has been promoting the adoption of a minimum wage since the late 1990s.

During the 2001 elections, the party campaigned for a minimum wage of S$5 an hour and retrenchment insurance. Nine years later, in 2010, it proposed a revised minimum  S$6.80 hourly rate. In 2015, the party proposed a S$7 hourly rate, which would work  out to S$1,232 a month for a full-time job of 44 hours a week.

The SDP’s policy team has been reviewing its minimum wage proposal and revised its proposal to a minimum wage of S$10 an hour, which would work out to be S$1,760 a month, based on a 44-hour work week.

The SDP, which said the review took place in October, added: “This would commensurate with the amount required for an older person to achieve a basic standard of living in Singapore at S$1,721.”

Read the statement in full HERE.