With inflation, everything is so expensive now. My family has been cutting down spending on things we often take for granted, like groceries, food and transport. Even when I ajak Abang to eat his favourite Mee Soto at the hawker centre because he’d complain about why he was paying so much for a small bowl! Whenever I talk about this to my friends, the first thing they’ll bring up is, “then, gahmen still wants to raise GST!” So when the conversation turns like this, I feel like a waste of time to continue the convo, liao.
Tak payah emosi sangat dek (no need to be so emotional).
I think I’ve already explained the need to raise GST before, and most of the time, people forget about the various support packages the government gives out!
So instead of complaining, why don’t we come up with solutions? Kau jangan banyak bunyi jer, usaha pun kena ada (You don’t just make noise, must put in effort also)
And I’m not only referring to cutting our expenses or finding lobangs that offer value for money.
So as the cost-of-living climbs, what can we do for the long term?
In the second reading of the GST (Amendment) Bill (7 Nov), Assistant Secretary-General Mr Desmond Choo expressed his support for the Goods and Services Tax (Amendment) Bill. In his speech, he shared NTUC understands workers’ anxieties but keenly understands that higher costs are here to stay and longer-term solutions are needed. He shared that this is a three-pronged solution:
- timely assistance during exigencies
- sustainable wage growth in the long term
- moderating costs of living
We cannot deny that the government is looking out for us. During the same Parliament sitting, DPM Lawrence Wong announced a $1.4 billion boost to the support package for households. This is to offset the impact of GST, given the higher inflation we’re all experiencing now!
Seriously if you all still complain, gahmen don’t do anything, akak nak cili mulut korang tau, tak bersyukur langsung (I will chilli your mouth…so ungrateful).
Then you all also know that NTUC FairPrice is also doing its part to moderate our cost of living?
Recently it announced a discount on 500 essential items for the first half of 2023. These key essential items are selected based on things that customers purchase frequently.
What does he mean by sustainable wage growth in the long term?
Mr Choo added, “the lasting solution is we must keep wages growing ahead of inflation sustainably….We need to ensure that there is continued investment in companies and workers so that our economy is vibrant and productive. Only when businesses do well can our workers enjoy sustainable wage gains. Training is essential to help our workers get those better jobs and pay.”
This narrative of “upskilling and reskilling is crucial to long-term employability and survival” is not new, given that we’ve been hit by multiple economic crises over the years.
While some may argue that going to courses does not guarantee the company will pay more, the benefits of upskilling outweigh this common perception.
Upskilling can be a lifeline for you to take on new tasks confidently and showcase more diverse skills. This will allow you to adapt to productivity and business needs changes, especially now that companies would rethink their business models to capitalise on technology.
In his speech, Mr Choo also spoke about NTUC Company Training Committees, which are done in partnership with the government to “foster and engender transformation at the firm level.”
“These 2,500 CTCs, by the end of 2025, will develop the Operation & Technology Roadmap programme (OTR) with companies. OTR can assist businesses in using innovation and technology to move up the value chain. Workers can be more productive as a result.”
So besties, you go check if your company got CTC or OTR programmes with NTUC, okay? Suppose your company is an SME and feels FOMO? In that case, see if the company can apply for grants extended by Enterprise Singapore that can offset up to 80% of OTR costs.
Like what Mr Choo said, “We are not merely idle observers of rising costs. We can determine our own fate.”
Don’t also forget ah your SkillsFuture credit. Faster use if you haven’t!
- What can be done to support & protect livelihoods of drivers? - November 22, 2022
- Worried about inflation & GST? Come, Kakak teach you how to grow your wages! - November 8, 2022
- My Abang thinks his friends no wawasan! - October 31, 2022