Friday, June 02, 2006

Workfare welfare slippery slope

Slippery SlopeI find it laughable that money from government will lead people to work harder. Yet that is what the general-secretary of AUPDRW suggested about the largesse that the Singapore government doled out to its citizens in the last few months. I know of a person, who, upon receiving the money, went shopping and more shopping. Yes, this will help the local economy, the retailers especially, gain more business and employ more people and resources. But it is simplistic to suggest low-wage earners will work harder and go for more upgrading programmes as a result of the Progress Package.

One of the things that spurs people to better themselves, fortunately, is the realisation that they will go nowhere in their present careers (if any of it is left, that is) or that they want to make more money. People do not do so because somebody has given them more money. If nothing, free money will induce complacency and the delusion that somebody (the government and the Unions) will look after them. Why do more when, with little effort, you qualify for the Workfare bonus and the Progress Package? The Singapore government has argued long and hard against welfarism - handing out money for no effort at all. The Workfare bonus, while not exactly a handout, may slide down the proverbial slippery slope to one eventually, especially when elections need to be won. This may be 10, 20 years down the road, but every road is carved from the first step. Will this first step be the Workfare bonus?

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Warm and best wishes to you & your family.
hope all is well in your new work environment.