These have become institutions Numerous studies debate whether and how welfare states can evolve with changing political, social and economic conditions. the sustainable development of the social welfare policies and services in the long term. These social policies have played a supportive role to export‐oriented and foreign investment‐led economic growth strategies. However, recently, institutions in the welfare states of a few European countries and the USA, such as social security, employment protection and welfare financing, have been evolving to address issues including ageing, low economic growth and changes of patterns in labour market participation (Gilbert 2002; Bonoli and Natali 2012; Hemerijck 2013). These funds were accumulated during surplus times in the 1970s and early 1980s. The Singaporean welfare state was built at a time of a relatively young population and a strong manufacturing sector and, in particular, the rationale of individual responsibility by enabling people to work. Both corporate and individual tax rates are low compared with many other countries (e.g. Click here for our latest COVID-19 advisories. education performance indicated in the Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA] and health outcomes in life expectancy), Singapore ranks remarkably high, even when compared with developed countries. For example, high‐quality labour supply has been supported by policies promoting education and healthcare services. Some recent government initiatives are reviewed. Currently, the corporate tax rate is 17 per cent and individual income tax varies from 2 per cent to 20 per cent (IRAS 2017). What was most critical in the 2011 election was the loss of key ministers (in Aljunied Group Representation Constituency). Findings show that these policies for labour market and health financing are effective to some extent. Subsidies for class B2 and C beds account for 50–80 per cent (Ministry of Health 2012). In contrast with many other developed countries, Singapore has a strong ruling party, and has sufficient political capacity to reform existing welfare policies. policies. The share of the population aged 65 and over has rapidly increased from 7.3 per cent in 2000 to 11.7 per cent in 2015 (figure 6). For example, the functional equivalences (e.g. However, challenges remain for the evolving welfare state in Singapore. Singapore was compelled to build itself militarily in defence, so that, within a decade, there was a Singapore army, air force and navy. If we rely too heavily on the individual, their efforts alone will not be enough, especially among the vulnerable like the low‐ income families, like the elderly … The community and the Government will have to do more to support individuals'.77 Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, ‘National Day Rally Speech’, 2013. However, after the war, a department for social welfare was setup in 1946 to help the government participate in the social welfare of civilians. Currently, only workers whose income is below S$1,900 per month are eligible for WIS (table 1). The CPF is also important for social assistance and workfare programmes, many social assistance and workfare benefits are paid into individual CPF accounts (Ng 2011). A large portion of health expenditure has been paid out‐of‐pocket. Second, the HDB serves some social protection functions. In addition, a relatively small government with low tax rate in favour of firms/investors is feasible under these policies. Tax and other revenue had to pay for its expenditure which, by necessity, was pruned to the bare essentials such as defence and social services. In other words, self‐reliance and family support may not be enough to address welfare needs, especially for low‐income groups such as the working poor and the elderly who worked for lower wages. This policy accommodated the demand of the labour force due to the expansion of manufacturing sectors at that time (Pereira 2008). Most influential studies, including Pierson (1994, 1996), propose that welfare states are resilient not only due to the direct costs to change, but also to the institutional costs from the emergence of strong interest groups under the welfare state, including benefit recipients. This paper examines the changes in social welfare in Singapore using Labour Force Survey data. Medisave, a health saving account under the CPF, can be used to cover health expenditures for individuals and household. The CPF accounted for 17–27 per cent of the gross national saving between 1974 and 1985 (Huff 1994). Whether welfare states in East Asia can evolve with these changes remains uncertain. In a small city- state with no natural resources, the Singapore government has always feared that the Currently, the income ceilings vary from S$6,000 to S$18,000 with regard to the average monthly gross household income, depending on the nature of the flat and the location (HDB 2016). Section C provides details of expenditure and … This is a list of social service agencies (SSA) in Singapore.. The COVID-19 Recovery Grant (CRG) provides temporary financial support to workers in lower- to middle-income households who experienced involuntary job loss, involuntary no-pay leave (NPL) or income loss due to the economic impact of COVID-19. Singapore: Social Welfare Department. baby bonus, subsidies for childcare, job placement services, cash grants, etc.) Under the the PAP government from 1959 onwards, the CPF's role has expanded to covering expenditures on housing, health and education. Active labour policies, such as workfare and training programmes, have been recently initiated to increase labour participation and promote worker skills. In 2014, the number of trainees under the WSQ reached 267,000, and over half of them were aged 40 years and over (Department of Statistics 2015). Currently, over 2 million Singaporeans have supplementary health insurance provided by the private sector, as shown in figure 4. Particularly, Singapore's government size is relatively small. In addition, the government co‐funded 40 per cent of wage increases for Singaporean employees between 2013 and 2015 under the Wage Credit Scheme (WCS) for workers earning up to the gross monthly wage of $ 4,000. In the literature, the Singaporean welfare belongs to the East Asian Welfare regime – a ‘productivist’ welfare state (Holliday 2000), in which human capital investment is supposedly the main focus of social expenditures. Massive education was highlighted in training qualified workers during the success of the economy. This research contributes to the literature by interpreting the welfare regime in Singapore from a broad and dynamic political and economic context. Of late, the government has experienced a deficit, but it is covered by income from sovereign wealth funds. 2. The guiding principle for the designing of social welfare policies in Singapore is expressed in the charter of United Nations as promoting social welfare and better standards of life in larger freedom (ministry of social affairs, 1973). Next, the challenges, including changes in the labour market structure and ageing, are highlighted. Therefore, Singapores social safety net has been anchored on social development to enable citizens to help themselves. Social policy in Singapore retains its fundamentally productivist philosophical orientation, but the recent deterioration in poverty, inequality and mobility trends is leading to adoption of more welfare-oriented and universalist policy solutions. Moreover, it is a compulsory saving scheme to which both employers and employees contribute. The domestic market was small, and domestic industrial firms were not very competitive in international markets in the 1960s. Government also promotes the ‘many helping hands’ approach, highlighting the self‐help activities from various community organizations (Teo 2015). These three programmes often draw fire from the three main contentions against the welfare state. With this age structure, pension and health expenditures are likely to increase significantly in the future. Moreover, reforming resilient welfare states is only possible when those changes are economically necessary and are politically possible (Bonoli and Natali 2012). The objectives of SASW are: Advance Social Work as a profession and foster a high standard of Social Work in the country. You may be trying to access this site from a secured browser on the server. Also, productivity is also likely to be low with increasing labour input. East Asian welfare states are regarded as a welfare regime that supports ‘productivism’, in which social policies play a supportive role for economic policies. Compared to the manufacturing sector, the productivity is likely to be lower in the service sector. To facilitate public access to information about the annual report of the Social Welfare Department (SWD), SWD has updated its webpages. Political separation led to the British withdrawal of armed forces in 1970 (this step was not linked to the separation, but its timing came soon after the separation in 1965). The contribution rates are lower for older employees. Annual report 1947 (p.1) [Microfilm: NL 9517]. Furthermore, this study contributes to the literature on the development of welfare states by considering the recent policy responses in Singapore to the change of economic and social conditions. About MSF. This housing grant will be allocated to the CPF account of the applicants (HDB 2016). Governments may use a wide range of policy instruments or programmes to achieve their policy targets. Launched in 1985, our Daily Free Meal Delivery Programme provides free, healthy, vegetarian food to needy elderly and the vulnerable who face difficulties in getting their own meals. Second, ageing is another significant structural change in recent years. In 2010, the ratios increased to 10.6 and 9.7 years, respectively (Yap and Gee 2015). The first is a value argument. Korea, Japan, Republic of China [henceforth, Taiwan], and Hong Kong SAR [henceforth, Hong Kong]), the economic development in Singapore has reached the level of high‐income countries. Second, the nature of employment risks has also changed. This forms the crux of the government’s “Many Helping Hands” social policy where the role of the family and immediate community in welfare provision is emphasized over government-funded programs. Singapore emphasises what people see in other East Asian countries: on the one hand, the subordination of public welfare to economic growth and development and, on the other, reliance on the … Early Childhood and Development Agency; Councils under MSF Medisave is another institution that highlights individual responsibility. The tax rate has been set low to attract foreign investments, especially in the manufacturing sector (Huff 1994). report is not meant to be an exhaustive review of social policy in Singapore, but hopefully can offer a ground perspective to add to ongoing social service evaluation. Tertiary‐level education is now increasingly becoming important in the growth of the economy. People can enroll for MediShield if they are not older than 92 years old. However, the Singaporean welfare state achieves remarkable performances in education and health, with very different institutional arrangements and smaller government social expenditure, compared with other East Asian economies. In other words, the institutional arrangements for the social policies in Singapore may need to be understood in a broad context. Click here for COVID-19 FAQs (for families, support schemes, etc)
This article examines social security and housing policies in Singapore and shows how both were an integral part of a wider commitment to promote economic development. The HDB provides higher grants for low‐income families and offers mortgage loans for first‐ and second‐time buyers. The Malayan dollar was replaced in Malaysia in 1967 by the Malaysian ringgit, which was issued by the Central Bank of Malaysia and not by a Malaysian currency board. The Singapore government has always been quite prudent and mindful of the potentially corrosive effects of welfare in designing it social policies. First, ageing and a low fertility rate have become serious issues. The Ordinary Account is mainly for housing, insurance and education, whereas the Special Account is mainly for retirement and investment, and the Medisave Account is for health expenditure. The mean years of schooling for non‐students aged 25 and over were 5.6 and 3.7 years for male and female, respectively. 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