Six per cent of labour force earn less than S$1k a month

HRM 15 Nov 2012

Some six per cent of Singapore’s full-time labour force earn less than S$1,000 a month, said Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin in response to a question posed in Parliament.

This means that among full-time workers, 100,000 Singaporeans and 10,000 permanent residents earned less than S$1k each month, according to figures from the Labour Force Survey.

On the other hand, Singapore’s richest one per cent have an average taxable income of $700,000 a year, in a separate question posed in Parliament on the average income and total income earners in Singapore for the past 10 years.

In a response by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the number of individuals in the group has risen over four years from 29,524 in 2009 to 32,285 this year.

Income inequality in Singapore has been the centre of a hot debate as the richest top 10% of households in Singapore have seen their income growth outpace those in the bottom 10%. The Gini co-efficient has also risen from 0.45 to 0.47 in the last 10 years.

“It is illustrative of the trend that the number of people at the top one per cent has increased over the years,” says Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam, in a report by The Straits Times.

He also added that there could still be significant non-taxable income of these high earners not reflected in the data.

“The weath of the top one per cent could potentially be quite a bit higher than what is published here,” he was quoted as saying.



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