SDP Outlines Their 4Y1N Campaign, Which Includes Giving Everyone Above 65 a $500 Monthly Income

It’s getting closer and closer to the end of June and you know what that means:

GE2020 is coming really soon.

And since it’s coming really soon, all of the political parties are holding their campaigns to appeal to the public, including the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP).

Image: Facebook (Singapore Democratic Party (SDP))

On Wednesday, they came up with a new plan to help Singaporeans who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Image: Facebook (Singapore Democratic Party (SDP))

Previously, their proposal was that 75% of the employees’ last drawn salary would be paid for by the Government for the first six months, 50% for the next six months, and then 25% for the following six months.

But now, they have revised their proposal and SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan has said that the new initiative is an “extension” of the party’s aim of paying retrenchment benefits.

This whole thing falls under a part of its “Four Yes, One No” campaign, and don’t worry if you don’t really understand much about this campaign, because I’ll do a summary for you at the end of this article.

So what is the new initiative?

Giving Benefits In One Lump Sum

Basically, instead of having the money be given out over a period of 18 months, retrenched workers can now withdraw the total amount at one time.

This way, these retrenched workers can “find nine other similarly retrenched workers” and perhaps “pool their money together and use the capital for a startup”.

Image: Giphy

Dr Chee believes that this initiative will allow those who have been retrenched to be placed into “gainful employment” and it will be a “serious and genuine effort” for restructuring the economy.

He said, “This is one way we can stimulate innovation, creativity and if these businesses are successful, they’re going to generate employment as well.”

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No GST Until 2021

The SDP has also come up with a proposal where there will not be any GST until 2021 because they understand how hard everyone has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The party also wants to ensure that GST is not going to be raised to “9% as promised by the People’s Action Party (PAP)”.

“When you cut back on GST, you’re going to get people to have just a little bit more confidence in going off and spending money,” Dr Chee explained.

Furthermore, he believes that daily necessities should not be subjected to GST.

“For people who are on the higher end of the economic scale – you want to buy your Rolex watch, you want to buy your Ferrari – let’s increase GST for those items.”

With the low-income groups in mind, he also talked about how it is “not a good way to go” if we have “one tax across the board” because those groups face “huge difficulty in surviving”.

The SDP campaign also places a lot of emphasis on giving retirees above 65 years old a monthly income of $500 and ensuring that PAP always puts people’s interest first.

Putting People’s Interest First

Now, you might think that the SDP is “unlikely to have sufficient numbers to effect change in Parliament” since they are only contesting with 11 seats and you might even question whether or not the party sees its campaign garnering enough support for it to be materialised.

Well, Dr Chee only had one thing to say.

It’s about “quality over quantity”.

He talked about the tremendous amount of effort they’ve put into proposing “all these alternative policies”. Dr Tambyah also chipped in and brought our attention back to the 2011 General Election where the Workers’ Party managed to seize Aljunied GRC from PAP.

The voters sent a “clear” message and PAP started listening to the people more and making more changes.

And he’s hoping that the same thing will happen this year.

“Four Yes, One No” Campaign

Image: Facebook (Singapore Democratic Party (SDP))

So what exactly is the “Four Yes, One No” campaign?

  • Yes #1
    • Suspend GST until 2021 because of the COVID-19 outbreak and how everyone has been affected badly by it
  • Yes #2
    • Pay retrenchment benefits
      • First six months = 75% of last drawn salary
      • Next six months = 50% of last drawn salary
      • Following six months = 25% of last drawn salary
      • Alternatively, the amount to be withdrawn in one lump sum instead of over a period of 18 months
  • Yes #3
    • Provide a monthly income of $500 for retirees above 65
      • Helps to reduce the financial pressure of the younger generations who are working
  • Yes #4
    • Putting the people’s interest first
      • SDP believes that PAP made certain mistakes in handling the COVID-19 outbreak, which resulted in a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections and ultimately led to a lockdown of the country, so the SDP wants to ensure that the PAP will always put the people’s interest first
  • No #1
    • 10 million population
      • PAP has been working towards the aim of raising our population to 10 million by bringing in more foreigners, and SDP believes that that is a bad move because we have become over-reliant on foreign workers, especially in the roles of Professionals, Managers, Executives, and Technicians (PMETs)
      • SDP also believes that it will be even more difficult for us to competently control an outbreak of a virus if our population continues to increase drastically
Image: Facebook (Singapore Democratic Party (SDP))

And what does this campaign aim to achieve?

Well, according to the SDP website, they are trying to solve issues on two different levels – the short-term solution of helping Singaporeans handle the COVID-19 situation and the long-term solution of how we are going to recover from the outbreak.

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