Empower Your Future
The Workers’ Party believes the next step for Singapore lies in balanced reforms grounded in a comprehensive vision. The time has come to move beyond short-term fixes for long-standing problems. The future of Singapore lies in active investment in our fellow Singaporeans here and now. The time has come to empower a dynamic and confident people.
Singapore does not need blind economic growth; we need compassionate and equitable growth. We are tired of the myth of Singaporeans needing to bite the bullet in the hope that wealth generated at the top will trickle down eventually. This myth has resulted in severe inequality and discouraged enterprise in the past decade.
In order to tackle the challenges facing Singapore in the next decades, we need to unlock the dynamism and confidence innate in Singaporeans. Our Manifesto 2015 builds upon our vision of focusing on Singaporeans and calls for economic, social, urban, governance and security policies that can create the conditions where the dynamism and confidence of Singaporeans can be unleashed to achieve our aspirations together.
We believe that empowering Singaporeans entails a system of government where there are adequate checks and balances without political gridlock. The legislature must play this crucial role to check a powerful executive and push it to make well-balanced policies and laws that protect and advance the people’s interests.
Singapore is now a mature and diverse society. We are more than ready for a Parliament with different political voices to engage the executive branch led by the Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers. A diverse Parliament is critical in assisting the executive to make sounder judgments about policy trade-offs.
A Parliament monopolised by one party fails the test of rigorous debate and voting in forging sound policies. This grave imbalance gives free rein to the ruling party to take our country in any direction it deems fit. A Parliament that includes MPs from a rational, responsible and respectable opposition party compels the government to listen to the collective wisdom of the people.
A complex and uncertain future lies ahead. We have depended on a small group of talents in a single party to lead us in earlier times. This formula is no longer adequate. We need to build and revive institutions to empower Singaporeans and unleash our talents to move ahead with confidence. This can only be achieved through a balanced Parliament. Your future is in your hands. Empower your future!
The Workers’ Party’s Manifesto 2015 is inspired by the symbols of our beloved national flag: the crescent moon and five stars that we have seen displayed with pride everywhere during our Golden Jubilee celebrations this year.
The crescent moon on our flag represents a young nation on the ascendant. Chapter 1 Focusing on the Singaporean Core elaborates our vision of an independent Singapore at 50 years of age marching confidently forward. Our priorities are to adopt a Singaporean-core population policy to mitigate an ageing society and limit foreign manpower growth to grow a sustainable economy.
The five stars on our national flag represent the ideals of progress, equality, justice, democracy and peace. The Workers’ Party’s Manifesto 2015 is inspired by these ideals to offer over 130 policy proposals grouped thematically in five chapters each expressing one of the ideals. Our principle of focusing on the Singaporean core threads through the five chapters:
Chapter 2 (progress) calls for economic security to foster Confident Workers and Enterprises that would bring Singapore to the next level of development.
Chapter 3 (equality) seeks to strengthen our education, family, social welfare and healthcare institutions to help Aspiring Students and Families realise their dreams.
Chapter 4 (justice) envisions a Singapore that is Our City, Our Home, Co-Created by Singaporeans with strong roots to our land.
Chapter 5 (democracy) pursues Governance for Solidarity guided by political accountability, transparency, balance and responsibility.
Chapter 6 (peace) proposes Active Diplomacy, Confident Defence to make Singapore a good citizen of the world promoting peace and development.
Some of our key proposals are to:
- Increase workers’ incomes by increasing the cash payout portion of Workfare, instituting a national minimum wage and pegging it to the Average Household Expenditure on Basic Needs, and introducing an Employment Security Fund to provide for unemployment insurance.
- Enhance retirement adequacy by allowing CPF members to start receiving monthly CPF payouts earlier, linking CPF LIFE and Silver Support payouts to inflation, and paying special dividends to CPF members in years of good return on investment of CPF monies.
- Implement a more holistic and equitable education system by reducing class sizes, moving away from high-stakes examinations, offering a 10-Year Through Train School Programme from Primary 1 to Secondary 4, and introducing a Career and Life Skills Programme to raise awareness of less mainstream professions where students can realise their potential.
- Improve healthcare affordability and outcomes by enhancing subsidies for preventive and primary care, improving health literacy among the population, increasing the utilisation of healthcare technologies, and setting clear performance targets for health and social care providers.
- Improve public transport quality and affordability by having a government-owned National Transport Corporation own and manage rail and bus assets, audit public transport operators’ performance standards, and set fares in consultation with stakeholders, with fares linked to operators’ performance, service quality and reliability.
- Make public housing more affordable and accessible to lower and middle income Singaporeans by pegging HDB BTO flat prices to median monthly household income of applicants, enabling them to pay off their mortgage within 20 years, and by facilitating the elderly who wish to sublet their flats to increase their retirement income.