SINGAPORE: The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has repeated its claim that the governing People’s Action Party (PAP) keeps copying its lead, with party chief Chee Soon Juan asserting that the Government’s new financial assistance policy for retrenched workers mirrors the policy proposed by the opposition party back in 2015.

Dr Chee said on Tuesday (12 Sept): “A couple of weeks ago, Manpower Minister Tan See Leng announced that the Government will be implementing a policy to provide financial assistance for retrenched workers. This is a good step forward. It is also one that follows the lead of the SDP. Eight years ago in 2015, the SDP came up with a scheme that we call RESTART (Re-Employment Scheme and Temporary Assistance for the ReTrenched).”

The veteran politician also shed light on how similarly both policies are worded. The SDP’s policy aimed to “provide temporary assistance to retrenched workers,” while the Government’s new scheme aims to provide “temporary financial support for retrenched workers.”

See also  Taking us over the cliff

In 2015, SDP said that RESTART would “assist the retrenched individual to seek re-employment and help match his/her skill- and salary-level to a new job,” while the Government said a few weeks ago that much of the “support for retrenched workers will be tied to training and career counselling and guidance.”

The SDP also noted in its policy proposal that the retrenched worker’s “family still needs to eat, children still need to go to school, and electricity bills still need to be paid.” The Government, meanwhile, has positioned its scheme as a “temporary safety net to help you meet immediate needs.”

Asserting that the People’s Action Party (PAP) has a history of “copying the SDP when it comes to policy ideas,” Dr Chee asked: “Why are PAP ministers paid such exorbitant salaries when they keep following SDP’s lead? Why do Singaporeans pay for copies when they can have the real thing for a tiny fraction of the price?”

See also  SDP urges Govt to "return hard-earned CPF savings to retirees who need the money to survive"

The SDP has said, over the years, that the PAP has copied a number of its policy proposals – from healthcare and education to minimum wage.

Back in 2019, the opposition party said that the fact that the Government is “copying” its policy proposals is “one of the reasons why we know that we are on the right track and the reason why we continue to push for change by presenting our alternative ideas to our fellow citizens.”