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Good news as income gap narrows in Singapore

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Here’s some good news to kick off the weekend.

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) announced income inequality has gone down in recent years, thanks to stronger social safety nets and greater progression in government taxes and transfers.

These findings were released in the latest Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR), which also revealed that while labour productivity growth has “generally been weak”, several industries – including precision engineering and food manufacturing – have contributed a significant boost to productivity, particularly among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In order to continue upgrading skills and enhancing incomes, MOF said it would focus on three aspects – economic restructuring for better quality jobs, a more progressive fiscal system to mitigate inequality, and a stronger push for continuous education and training.

And as more employees are presented with the opportunity for better education and training, Singaporeans will be better poised to take on specialist, managerial and leadership roles.

“In the near future, we expect the global economic outlook to improve slightly,” the report said.

“However, it is essential that we continue our restructuring efforts to raise productivity in order to sustain quality growth. This is fundamentally the only way that companies can cope with the tight labour market and rising costs.”

Also read: Wage guidelines for 2013/2014 released

The SPOR also highlighted Singapore’s ageing population as one of the challenges ahead, and said the government has put in place several measures, including increased healthcare capacity and healthcare affordability.

“We want to enable our seniors to age in place by promoting active ageing so that they can stay physically and mentally healthy, and stay independent in the community,” Ong Yunn Shing, director at the Ageing Planning Office in the Ministry of Health, said. 

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