SINGAPORE — The Singapore People’s Party (SPP) has called for greater democracy, strengthening of retirement adequacy and lowering the cost of living as it launched its party manifesto for the 10 July General Election (GE) on Sunday (28 June).
Titled “A Better Tomorrow”, the party said that its manifesto is built upon three guiding principles – accountability, commitment and empathy.
“Although it is unlikely that we will be in a position to implement policy as we will not form the government, these are matters that we will advocate for in Parliament, should we be given the honour of serving you,” it said.
“It is essential that we have a contest of ideas, a multitude of narratives and credible alternatives so that the best results for Singaporeans can be produced.”
Advocating greater democracy
In advocating greater democracy, SPP has called for enacting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and a Fixed Terms of Parliament Act, as well as making mandatory a public declaration of assets for elected officials.
“An FOIA will serve as a potent antidote against the spread of fake news,” it said in the manifesto. “Secondly, an FOIA will help to level the playing field by solving the information dissymmetry that currently exists in policy discussion.”
The party also believes that the public declaration of assets would ensure transparency and accountability, as well as a reduction in conflicts of interest. Meanwhile, enacting a fixed term of Parliament will remove the Prime Minister’s discretion in relation to the timing of elections, ensuring more fairness and stability, the party said.
Ensure retirement adequacy, mitigate impact of rising costs
The SPP believes that the Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme must be revamped, to better reflect its fundamental principles and ensure retirement adequacy.
It said that, in 2018, the CPF paid $450 per month to persons aged 65 to 69 years old and less than $300 to those above the age of 70 – falling short, it said, of a monthly $1,379 required for the elderly to ensure a basic standard of living.
SPP calls for partial withdrawals on compassionate grounds to be allowed, as well as public declaration of the return on investments from the investment of CPF monies.
The party also said in the manifesto that there is a need to mitigate the impact of rising costs, and wants the government not to further increase the Goods and Services Tax. It also calls for introducing minimum wages, as well as increasing the cash supplement under the Silver Support Scheme.
Other aspects of SPP’s manifesto include: empowering the youth, combating climate emergency, protecting the sandwiched generation, improving mental health, strengthening the work force, and providing affordable housing and holistic education.
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