The Workers' Party's Policy and communications Committee is organizing a public consultation exercise to gather views from members of the public.
Entitled "New Poor and Social Cohesion", the consultation exercise will be held at the Straits Ballroom 1, Hotel Rendezvous, 9 Bras Basah Road from 2-5pm on 1 November. A public entertainment licence has been obtained for the event.
The Workers' Party highlighted the plight of Singapore's New Poor in the 2001 general elections and warned the people of an emerging problem. Two years on, the situation has worsened and both real and relative poverty has increased. The rise of the New Poor has been caused by policies that emphasise asset accumulation which in turn made many Singaporeans asset rich but cash poor. The prolonged economic downturn, the loss of jobs and a drop in the value of assets has made many financially vulnerable thus placing a strain on society.
Singaporeans now have been asked to bear the brunt of cost cutting measures by taking wage cuts and lowering their expectations in life. The largest breach of faith has been the re-structuring of the CPF.
For Singaporeans, a long-term issue is jobless growth, were a certain fixed level of unemployment is set to become a permanent feature of Singapore society. The challenge is how we can address the problem of jobless growth and permanent unemployment.
The Workers' Party is holding a public dialogue session to discuss the problems of the New Poor and Social Cohesion in Singapore.
WP's "people's forum" initiative
The "people's forum" is an initiative formed under the WP's Policy and Communications Committee which was set up as a platform for people to share their views and raise their concerns.
The "people's forum" is held every first Monday of the month at the Worker's Party headquarters at Jalan Besar, and was launched on 1 September 2003. The forum is open by invitation to ordinary Party members and members of the public to give their input for policy reforms.
In the inaugural forum the participants jointly expressed their views that a serious and long-term issue facing Singapore is jobless growth where a certain fixed level of unemployment is set to become a permanent feature of society.
A second in-house session entitled - HDB Ownership - Coping with New Challenges held at the party premises on 6th October 2003 participants recommended a four prolonged approach to help young people own homes.
Sources and Relevant Links:
For more information and background on the Policy and Communications Committee and the "people's forum" go to Workers' Party