MPs Made Some Good Suggestions for COVID-19: Reducing Food Delivery Commission, Pausing CPF Contributions & More
We like to criticise the gahmen a lot.
ERP lah, COE lah, houses are expensive, cars are expensive, everything also expensive. I might as well ask my boss to transfer my salary to the gahmen.
But when the Covid-19 crisis hit Singapore, our gahmen proved one thing: they’re well prepared and they know what the heck they’re doing.
And they certainly care about Singaporeans.
That’s why so many measures and Budget plans have been introduced, to help businesses and employees pull through this period of financial loss.
And their work is not done; they’re constantly thinking of different ways to help Singaporeans, as these MPs demonstrate.
While most companies have been feeling the pinch, food delivery companies have seen an increase in orders as more and more people are working from home.
Ms Foo Mee Har, MP for West Coast Group Representation Constituency (GRC), thinks that companies like these, who are enjoying “disproportionately greater benefits” during the Covid-19 outbreak, should share these benefits with their business partners and employees.
For example, Grab and Deliveroo charge 30 to 35% in commission fees, a figure which Ms Foo believes should be reviewed since deliveries may be the main source of revenue for food outlets during this period.
As you know, you can no longer eat your Prata piping hot at the coffee shop; from 7 April to 4 May, food outlets here will only be allowed to do deliveries or offer takeaways for customers.
“Delivery companies should adjust their commission rates, so that food outlets may have a fighting chance to survive”, she said.
Mr Louis Ng, MP for Nee Soon GRC believes that more needs to be done for workers who have had to take pay cuts or unpaid leave, or for workers who are paid hourly shifts and have had their shifts and hours cut.
Hmm, what about my situation, boss? I haven’t exactly taken a pay cut or unpaid leave. Instead, I’m doing… uh, what did you call it?
Boss: Unpaid work
Ah that’s it, unpaid work. Do you think the government will help me out if I ask them?
Boss: Tell them what I’m doing and you’ll lose your job
But I’m not even getting paid.
Boss: YOU WANT TO RISK IT?
OK NO I’M SORRY.
Mr Louis Ng said that the only new support scheme for such workers is the Temporary Relief Fund which provides a one-time cash aid of S$500, which isn’t enough.
He suggested that the Covid-19 Support Grant can be extended to supplement the monthly income of these workers for up to S$800 for three months or when they are back to full employment.
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Mr Ng had another good suggestion: give parents more childcare leave.
He suggested this since home-based learning will take place for the next four weeks and some children in preschools and kindergartens are also required to stay home.
And parents who do not have the option to work from home would have had to take unpaid leave, which has left them with worries of losing their jobs.
He suggested implementing a government-paid childcare leave for parents who are working in essential services or key economic sectors.
That certainly makes sense.
Mr Lim Wee Kiak, MP for Sembawang GRC, made a suggestion that many of you might approve of: pausing CPF contributions for the next three to six months to reduce the manpower cost of employers and to increase the monthly take-home pay of salaried workers.
He also suggested stopping the mandatory MediSave contributions of self-employed persons, including taxi drivers.
Mr Ong Teng Koon, MP for Marsiling Yew Tee GRC said that we should reward the “real heroes” like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, teachers, caregivers, utility workers, cleaners, and delivery workers.
“Perhaps it is time we think of how to reward and incentivise the real heroes with their true worth, instead of what companies say they are worth,” he said.
Mr Murali Pillai, MP for Bukit Batok, said the government should set aside more land (1%) for agriculture as part of its “30-by-30” vision, where Singapore aims to produce 30% of its population’s nutritional needs by 2030.
Now, more than 90% of our food supply is imported. (Hence all the panic buying when Malaysia announced a lockdown).
But for this to happen, Singaporeans must support agricultural companies here and accept the higher costs associated with storing food supplies, he said.
Having our own stable supply of food would certainly be crucial during crises like the Covid-19 pandemic.
Yes, businesses and workers are going through some tough times at the moment, but we all have to admit one thing: things would be a lot worse if the gahmen didn’t introduce such measures to cushion the financial blow.
When exactly the Covid-19 pandemic ends in Singapore remains to be seen, but we certainly have the right people making the important decisions.
Singapore Employment Government Lifestyle
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