There is no need for a minimum-wage scheme, says Chief of Labour Lim Swee Say. Lim, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, said that the key to clearing the manpower bottleneck is through making the best use of every worker, which may be achieved through ways like giving every worker the best opportunities.

Lim advised firms to make full use of the Government’s three-year transition support package. The package, which includes the Wage Credit Scheme, was announced in the 2013 Budget and will see the Government subsidising 40 per cent of wage increases for Singaporeans who earn up to S$4,000.

Lim said that a minimum-wage scheme could be a “zero-sum game”, adding that Singapore’s wage model which comprises the Workfare Income Supplement, Workfare Training Support and a progressive wage system is more than a minimum-wage model. Through the current model, Lim says that Singaporeans are able to maximise the upside for low-wage workers whilst minimising downsides.