As we move into an on demand economy in Singapore, more Singaporeans are signing up for services in the on demand economy such as being a private driver for Uber and GrabCar, or being a personal shopper for honestbee or courier service for Zap Delivery.
In a report published by Straits Times, private drivers for Uber and GrabCar may soon be required to have a vocational license before they can legally pick up passengers around the island.
According to existing regulations, a vocational license is needed before you can drive a taxi or bus in Singapore. Vocational licences granted by the LTA ensure that drivers and bus attendants of Public Service Vehicles are properly trained.
Sources told the Straits Times that the authorities, presumably the Land Transport Authority, is considering a training programme lasting at least 10 hours for private drivers before they can get the vocational license. This is significantly shorter than the 60 hour training courses for taxi drivers.
It is still unclear how much the courses will cost at this point, and the training programme expected to be announced in the upcoming Budget 2016.
Other than the vocational licensing requirement, the authorities may also require private drivers to indicate clearer on their vehicles that the vehicles are being used to pick up passengers – possibly through decals. It is also estimated that there are tens of thousands of private-car hire drivers in Singapore.
All Eyes On Budget 2016
2015 has marked the slowest growth since 2009, so all the eyes are on the upcoming 2016 annual budget on March 24. Budget 2016 will be unveiled by new finance minister Heng Swee Keat, and we expect most of the state fund will be channeled towards helping local companies improve productivity as well as revenue. We also expect a bulk of the budget to be funnelled towards Singapore’s Smart Nation initiatives.
Most economists predict GDP growth at 1.9% this year, down from a previous forecast of 2.2% in December and below last year’s 2% growth. DBS, recently cut its 2016 growth forecast to 1.5% from 2.1% previously, and if that happens, Singapore’s GDP will be at the slowest pace of expansion since the global financial crisis in 2008/09.