Budget 2017: Family support, jobs top S’poreans’ concerns

More incentives for parents, helping older workers upgrade among key suggestions.

14 Feb 2017

Support for families, job security and employment prospects were among the key concerns raised by Singaporeans in the 2017 Pre-Budget feedback exercise organised by REACH and the Ministry of Finance.

One of the main concerns raised was the high cost of living in Singapore, and how it was deterring young Singaporeans from having big families or starting families. Many agreed that the Government has been doing a lot to help, but some have also offered their own suggestions to further incentivise parenthood – such as increasing maternity and paternity leave, baby bonuses and childcare leave.

Other suggestions include CPF top-ups for women after giving birth, allowing young parents and those with aged parents to have flexible work arrangements, and more financial assistance for low-income families.

Job security and other employment concerns were also highlighted. Mature workers raised the issue of support for older workers, while younger Singaporeans said it was stressful trying to secure a job after graduation, adding that there was a lack of opportunities in the unpredictable future economy.

In terms of suggestions, participants felt that training would help address the skills and learning gap that needed to be met in the future economy, with many commending the SkillsFuture initiative. Some suggested improvements to the initiative, such as increasing the credit amount and improving on the variety and quality of courses. Participants also felt that more could be done to help older workers upgrade their skills.

Singaporeans shared nearly 8,000 feedback inputs during the exercise, with 96% of the feedback received via face-to-face engagement sessions.

Get your updates on Budget 2017 at www.gov.sg/budget2017.

Source: REACH