Singapore wants wage increment to correspond with productivity

Increasing wages too rapidly will negatively impact Singapore’s global competitiveness, cautioned Singapore’s Finance Minister.
By: | October 3, 2022

A tight labour market means that wage growth is inevitable as employers compete to fill vacancies. However, Singapore must continue to ensure that wages rise in line with productivity, said Lawrence Wong. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Failure to do otherwise could lead to “a destabilising wage-price spiral, where higher wages feed directly into higher prices,” he added, reported The Straits Times.

Wong was speaking at an event to mark the 50th anniversary of the National Wages Council (NWC), where he pointed out that Singapore will lose its global competitiveness if wages rise too quickly. Employers and employees will be affected equally by this, he explained, and the most vulnerable workers will bear the brunt if companies are unable to survive.

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The NWC is a tripartite body comprising employer, employee, and government representatives, and has an important role to champion fair, inclusive and sustainable growth, added the minister.

He said, “In good times, NWC brings employers and unions together to ensure the fruits of growth are shared by all, by rewarding workers with wage increases and higher variable payments. In times of crisis or recession, NWC reacts swiftly to come up with recommendations and measures to save jobs.”