PAP MP Lim Biow Chuan: The poor just need to put in ‘hard work’
Looking down on the poor, the S$15,000/mth PAP MP from Mountbatten SMC sneered that the poor need to work harder if they want to afford aircon and internet.
Responding to a state media interview on Singaporean poor who could not afford basic necessities in the world’s most expensive country, PAP MP Lim Biow Chuan arrogantly said the poor need to put in ‘hard work’:
“The only way to improve their circumstances is to teach them skills relevant for evolving jobs. I won’t pretend it is easy, and we have to try and help them. But with hard work, you can make a difference in your life.”
The recent government survey on household income saw the poor becoming poorer each year by 0.2%, with expenses increase surpassing wage growth.
PAP MP from Jalan Besar GRC, Lily Neo, also dismissed the state of poverty in Singapore, claiming that the poor are ‘covered’:
“The results may suggest that government schemes need another tweak. (But) The broad areas – such as housing, education and medical care – are covered, and noted that the maximum annual payouts under the Workfare Income Supplement scheme, which helps lower-paid workers, will be increased by up to $400 a year from next year.”
According to government assistance group the National Council of Social Service, government support like the Workfare Income Supplement already made up half of the annual household income per member for the bottom 20%.
Despite the damning report, the Singapore government has no plan to help the poor by implementing a Minimum Wage. The actual state of poverty and low wages is also covered up by the government in the survey as government support was factored in as “income”.
Elderly Singaporeans make up the bulk of the poor, with their average monthly CPF payout at S$450 a month.