Minimum Wage vs Progressive Wage Model, which one better ah?

Minimum Wage vs Progressive Wage Model, which one better ah?

Wow, it’s like macam the whole of Singapore suddenly interested in Minimum Wage and Progressive Wage Model (PWM) lei.

Is it lao niang should also talk about it then lao niang can be part of the WOKE crowd??

If you don’t understand simi Minimum Wage, simi Progressive Wage Model, why got people debate over them, and the difference between these 2, lai lai, let lao niang explain to you.

Actually hor is very simple one lah, no need to confuse yourself.

The whole intention of Minimum Wage and the Progressive Wage Model is good one lah. Both also want to help those low-income workers in Singapore to earn more money.

Just that they got some xiao differences.

Minimum Wage

Minimum Wage, as the name suggests hor, is the minimum pay your tow kay must die-die pay you. It is a law that is set by the Gahmen. Your tow kay cannot say they don’t want to pay you the Minimum Wage de. And if implement liao, is national one hor. Means for EVERYBODY.

Before you sibei happy that your pay increase, don’t forget this Minimum Wage is paid out of the tow kay’s OWN pocket.

Since now your tow kay is paying you more than before, your tow kay will probably makan you and tekan you gao gao. Because pay you Minimum Wage is dua kee (big deal), so make you 1 person do 3 persons’ job. Tow kay now cannot afford higher pay for 3 people mah, so bo bian. You do their job lor. You want mah?

And hor now that the tow kays need to pay their workers more, you think these tow kays stupid de meh? You think they will diam diam ownself bear that cost meh? Of course no lah! So hor, what they will do is, they will pass the cost to consumers like us.

This means that Minimum Wage might push up cost of goods and services.

Imagine the most basic bubble tea you buy now become $8 instead of $3.50 because:

  • Everybody are now mandated by the law that they must be paid a Minimum Wage
  • The bubble tea shop tow kay buay gam wan (unhappy) that they now need to pay their workers more, thanks to the Minimum Wage
  • So, they go and increase the price of their bubble tea and make their customers help to bear the pay increase for their workers

Ok lah, I know you all sibei kind-hearted one will say, IF THIS WILL HELP LOW-INCOME WORKERS OK WHAT.

Aiya, you all don’t act yi ge lah. Want to increase GST that time got so many people KPKB jijiwaiwai already – even though the money collected from GST will also go to save our economy and help the less privileged Singaporeans. Now don’t come and say you all ok with one normal bubble tea become $8 ok?

Tia gong got a lot of eCoNoMiStS also came out to argue and say won’t lah, won’t increase cost of goods and services one. But who can REALLY come and sumpah (swear) that implementing Minimum Wage won’t increase the cost of goods and services leh? Can these eCoNoMiStS come and say sumpah say won’t?

And if really implement liao then increase how ah?? Will these eCoNoMiStS come and 背锅 (carry the fault) and absorb the cost for all of us or not???

Progressive Wage Model

Progressive Wage Model is ALMOST like Minimum Wage because the Progressive Wage Model also got the Minimum Wage component inside.

But they are not exactly the same.

Difference 1:

Instead of applying to EVERYONE, the Progressive Wage Model is a sectoral minimum wage.

The Progressive Wage Model, for now, only applies to a few sectors where the workers really earn very little as compared to the other industries. The 3 sectors are the cleaning, security, and landscape sectors.

And why is it sectoral leh? Because obviously every job in different industries all command a different kind of salary because of the different skillset the job requires, right?  Cannot just use minimum wage and hantam across all jobs and industries one lah, sibei unfair sia.

It’s like, how can a cashier be paid the same salary as, say a chef? Or a visual designer? Their job scope and skills are so different leh.

Don’t even make sense lah!

Difference 2:

Unlike the Minimum Wage which forces tow kays to milk their workers to up the productivity, Progressive Wage Model helps workers to increase and improve their productivity with training and help them to work smarter.

For example:

  • Ah Beng is a normal cleaner. He only knows how to sweep the floor, mop the floor, and wipe tables. He usually takes 3 hours to clean one office level. He is paid $1,236 per month.
  • Ah Seng is also a cleaner. He knows how to wipe the table and he also knows how to operate those all-in-one vacuum mop. He takes only 1 hour to clean one office level. He is paid $1,648 per month.

So you see ah, Ah Beng and Ah Seng both are cleaners, but Ah Seng is paid more than Ah Beng. Why leh? Because Ah Seng is more zai and more productive. He finishes his job faster than Ah Beng because he knows how to use machines to help him finish his job faster. That’s why he is paid more.

Difference 3:

Another VERY IMPORTANT difference is, the Progressive Wage Model is a minimum wage plus, a level-up version of Minimum Wage.

Why level-up leh? Because Progressive Wage Model includes another component – the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme which is a targeted support for the low-income workers, whereby the Gahmen tops up the workers’ wages through cash payments and CPF contributions.

In another words hor, Gahmen will 伸出援手 (give more help) and top up the salary of the low-income worker through WIS if Gahmen see this low-income worker really earn too little liao.

So, the long story short and the difference between Minimum Wage and Progressive Wage Model is:

  • Minimum Wage – Tow kay must increase low-income workers’ salary from their own pocket. And there is a possibility they will pass the increase in cost to consumers like us because they want to earn more money mah.
  • Progressive Wage Model – Similar concept like Minimum Wage, but here, the Gahmen will top up the low-income workers’ salary instead through WIS. SO YAH, THIS ONE IS GAHMEN PAY ONE

So, lao niang want to ask – if the Progressive Wage Model can help to improve a low-income worker’s pay and is paid by Gahmen, WHY YOU WANT MINIMUM WAGE AH? Your brain sot plug ah?

The only problem lao niang have with this Progressive Wage Model is hor, now only applies to 3 sectors niah. Should open up to more lah.

And also, maybe can increase the Workfare payout more? Mai so niao lah.

If you’d like to contribute your story to us, drop us an email at [email protected] and we’ll review it. We read each submission that comes to us within two weeks of receiving it.


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