The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) unveiled today (June 29) its manifesto, with “You Deserve Better” as its campaign slogan for the upcoming election.
Registered in March last year, the party is contesting its first general election. It is fielding the largest opposition contingent to contest 24 seats in nine constituencies.
In its foreword, PSP secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock said that the party looked at the key issues concerning Singaporeans, which is mainly the high cost of living.
He noted that Singapore has been one of the top five most expensive cities in the world for the past five years, but our wages have stagnated and the economy is lacklustre.
On top of that, the emergence of COVID-19 has also posed a huge health and economic threat.
The government’s response so far seems to be a patchwork of policy tweaks without addressing the fundamental factors affecting Singaporeans.
… Rehashing past policies is definitely not the way to go. We need to have a paradigm shift and look for workable alternative solutions going forward.– PSP secretary-general Tan Cheng Bock
PSP believes that its manifesto offers a better alternative to the current problems that Singapore is facing as a nation.
The 13-page manifesto outlines the party’s vision for Singapore in three broad areas: economy, social and politics.
Here is a quick overview of PSP’s manifesto:
1. Job Priority For Singaporeans
- Introduce quota for Employment Pass and lower quota for S Pass and Work Permit.
- Review free-trade agreements like Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
- Reduce dependence on foreign labour as its results in problems of congestion, social strains and depressed wages.
- Curb easy supply of foreign labour to push employers to invest in equipment or processes for higher productivity.
- Move toward higher value-add and higher-wage model.
2. More Support For Local SMEs
- More assistance for local SMEs, such as offering them priority in public sector procurements and boost investment in them.
- Direct support to SMEs to restructure their business and in their effort to go overseas.
- Reduce business costs to revitalise our industry and bring down cost of living.
3. Build A Stronger Social Safety Net
- Improved financial assistance for those unemployed due to COVID-19 and increase Comcare payout.
- CPF withdrawal of up to $50,000 at age 55.
- Medishield Life premium to be paid by Government.
- Freeze tax and fee increases for the next five years, and exempt basic necessities from GST.
4. More Affordable Homes
- Address HDB lease decay. En-bloc redevelopment for all old flats and peg new flat prices to income levels.
- Allow sale of en-bloc rights.
5. System Of Checks And Balances To Prevent Abuse Of Power
- Reduce the over-dominance of a single Party with over 90% representation in Parliament.
- Stronger alternative voices in Parliament offering different viewpoints and suggestions.
- Ministerial salaries should be cut and pegged to median income.
- Public spending should be frugal and huge projects subject to greater scrutiny.
- Public service including transport and utilities should not be profit-making.
- Independence of key institutions and appointments. Expand Presidential oversight over more key public appointments.
- No conflict of interest in key public appointments.
6. Freedom Of Speech And Expression
- Allow for speaking up without fear or favour.
- Encourage diversity of views.
- Relax the regulation of media and the arts.
- Review POFMA.
You can read the PSP manifesto in full here.
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Featured Image Credit: Reuters