Despite being a first world country, Singapore still has a work in progress to help those earning low wages. It is not easy working from payday to payday, saving or living by the budget and even sacrificing much of the luxuries just to survive, yet all efforts seemed not enough.
With the Cost of Living Calculator, we are able to come up with a sample monthly budget of $1,316.
As for the accommodation, we assume that it is a rented place in a suburban district, and the utilities are not yet included. Of course everyone has to use water and electricity to survive. With the medical costs, the estimation only includes a visit to a general practitioner. The medications and other health care needs are excluded. For transportation, it is assumed as a taxi ride to and fro work.
The communication fee only includes the subscription fee, not the cost of the handset. With the budget of $1,316, it really is a tight budget considering that there are a lot of things you have to let go such as having a better accommodation, visiting a specialist should your ailment become complicated or going to places for relaxation. There are so many sacrifices just to stay on the budget.
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Low Income Jobs in Singapore
It seems that despite the hard work put into their everyday tasks, they continue to earn low wages. However, rather to stay unemployed many are still taking these jobs.
Every restaurant need service crew to run. They are the ones facing the customers with forced smiles. They take orders, man the cashier, clear the tables and serve the food and drinks. The job is easy to get, but many Singaporeans will get it as the last resort for a job. The pay is low and the working hours can extend from 10 hours onwards due to under staffing.
Those in the construction and trade industry will not have a business if they don’t have construction workers, craftsmen, machine operators and assemblers. They work in the extreme conditions under physical stress until the wee hours. The manual labor is very demanding, and they sometimes work in hazardous areas, yet the pay is very low.
Nobody will really clean someone else’s toilet, but some people do despite the low paycheck. They can work half days or full time moping, wiping, dusting taking out the trash. With all the sweat, the income seems not enough to survive.
Workfare is the government’s solution for low income wage earners. It rewards work and also encourages workers to take up some training to up-skill themselves. With more skills, it is expected that the worker can find better opportunities to expand their work choices. Under the Workfare is the Workfare Income Supplement scheme.
The scheme is for older wage earners from age 35 and up who work regularly and are willing to do further trainings to up-skill themselves. Those who have eligibility can have temporary cash supplements according to age group. They can also avail a CPF portion to help them build a better retirement fund. Should they choose to undergo up-skill training towards improving their employability, they will receive subsidies.
Starting on January 1, 2017, the qualifying income to be eligible for this permanent scheme will be raised from $1,900 a month to $2,000. With this change, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat expects to help around 460,000 Singaporeans to benefit from WIS. This way, not only the bottom 20% of workers will be helped but also those in the 30th wage percentile.
Those who are eligible will now get bigger payout, yet it will still depend on the age groups. Those who get $3,500 now will get up to $3,600 a year because in increased WIS payouts the workers earning $1,000 to $1,600 get $100 to $500 increase. From the quarterly pay, payouts are now monthly. With the newly revised scheme the low wage workers will receive $770M.
The criteria are also now simplified: a worker has to work six months a calendar years or specifically two out of three consecutive months, or three out of six consecutive months. Aside from those in age 35 and above, people with disabilities aged 13 and above with low wage are now also supported by the scheme.
With the existing effort from the government, is Workfare enough for those earning low income? Worry not; you can get flexi loans anytime. Apply for low interest Singapore personal loan from a licensed moneylender like Cash Mart. The process is quick and easy as we do not require tedious paperwork.
Cash Mart offers unsecured loans, so there is no need to bring collateral and they even approve loans to those with bad credits. If you want to experience high class service and flexible loans, you can drop by Cash Mart and the friendly staff will be willing to walk you through the process.
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