The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has welcomed the various measures introduced in Budget 2015, saying that it is forward-looking and caters for the future needs of workers and businesses.
The labour movement, which had proposed raising the CPF salary ceiling to S$6,000 earlier in the year, said that it was heartened that the Government heeded their call, which will help workers save more for retirement and healthcare, and bring about fairer wages for older workers.
NTUC also welcomed the creation of the SkillsFuture Credit scheme for all Singaporeans. "This would encourage lifelong learning, a mastery of skills and even second-skilling by supporting individual initiated training for a person's entire career and lifetime," said Ms Diana Chia, president of the NTUC.
The labour movement also applauded the Budget's targeted approach to alleviate the pressures faced by Singaporeans in the sandwiched class and urged companies to to tap on productivity schemes to innovate and transform their businesses.
Meanwhile, the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) has welcomed the emphasis on redistributive policies in the Budget.
“We are heartened by this recognition of the principles of collective responsibility, fairness and our duties to support one another as fellow citizens,” said Dr Vivienne Wee, AWARE’s Research and Advocacy Director. “The Government has done well to increase social spending as a percentage of GDP, and to recognise the obligation of those who have benefited the most from the economy to give more back.”
Dr Wee also welcomed the Silver Support Scheme as a form of social support and the reduction of the domestic worker levy, which will help families with their childcare and eldercare needs.
“However, lower-income households may not benefit from the levy concession as they cannot afford domestic workers regardless. We hope the government will also consider supporting caregiving by family members, who are usually women," added Dr Wee.
AWARE said that it hopes that the Government will build on the promising new directions expressed in the Budget speech and eventually address issues of eldercare more comprehensively. It also hopes to see fuller recognition and material support of women who leave the workforce to care for their families.