Top Concerns in Pre-Budget 2017 Feedback

Supporting our families was the issue that struck a chord with many Singaporeans as it emerged as the top concern amongst those who shared their feedback ahead of Budget 2017. 

Many were also concerned about job security and employment prospects. 

These emerged as the main concerns for Singaporeans who gave their feedback to the Government feedback unit, REACH.

The high cost of living deterred some young Singaporeans from having big families or starting families, and respondents gave a number of suggestions to create a more conducive environment for raising families

Ideas included increasing parenthood incentives by giving more baby bonuses, improving work-life balance, and making home ownership more achievable by reviewing the cost of a flat and time taken to get one.

A "significant number" also called for more financial assistance to low-income families and the elder, including higher infant, childcare and healthcare subsidies, utility and tax rebates.

"Others urged the Government not to forget the sandwiched middle-class and appealed for assistance for this group," REACH said.

On jobs, there were a variety of concerns. Workers aged 45 and above wanted more help to remain employable while young Singaporeans were stressed about getting a job upon graduation given the gloomy economic outlook.

Some also said there was a mismatch in jobs and skills, particularly in the IT sector. But respondents were divided on the reasons for the situation, with some believing that there is a lack of white-collar jobs.

"Others felt that Singaporeans were just being 'choosy' and that a more realistic attitude was required; while some groused that the education system's emphasis on rote learning and the lack of technical skills was the cause of the gap," REACH said.

Singaporeans also felt that employers need to be more supportive of their workers who want to seek training, with some saying that it should be mandatory to send employees for a minimum number of training hours annually.

Source: “Cost of living and job security top concerns of Singaporeans: Reach's pre-Budget survey” (The Straits Times, 13 Feb 2017)

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