Patrick Tay of the NTUC made an impassioned speech at Parliament, urging society and government for greater reward and recognition to Stay-At-Home-Mothers.
He started with a background of the SAHM landscape:
“Sir, one often forgotten and forsaken group of our community are the Stay-At-Home-Mums (SAHMs). As of 2013, there are 312,000 females not working due to childcare, care-giving and home tending. There is still a lack of societal and governmental cognizance of the critical role SAHMs play in our society supporting the basic family unit and sometimes even the extended family.”
Here are 10 fast takeaways from the rest of the speech:
10. SAHMs should not be seen as unproductive or contributing less to society.
9. Society, community and Government should reward, recognise and reassure SAHMs
8. Policies need to be targeted in order to offer support at different life stages of their children’s lives.
7. We need to find ways to fund pro-family measures to recognize the economic and social value provided by the SAHM.
6. Today, there are no transport subsidies for SAHMs. Yet they have to bring their children along while running different errands for the family. This subsidy should be added on to the Marriage & Parenthood Package.
5. Our policies need to equalize some of the SAHM benefits to match those that working mothers receive.
4. Tax reliefs or rebates for SAHMs can be improved. The Working Mother’s Child Relief (WMCR) can be extended to SAHMs and these reliefs can be shared with their spouses to ease financial burdens of a single income family.
3. Future medical needs must be considered. She does not have regular CPF and Medisave contributions. SAHMs need to be given top-ups in her Medisave and Special Accounts.
2. Government should provide dollar-matching top-ups if her working husband is contributing to her CPF account instead of the WMCR, (which may not benefit a mother who does not even earn a taxable income).
1. Companies and businesses are urged to embrace part-time, freelance and work re-entry programs for SAHMs. They need various ways to supplement income and need a myriad of options.
Patrick ends with this:
“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career”. I wish to acknowledge, recognize and salute all mothers, especially stay-at-home mums! Thank you for raising a generation of Singaporeans!”
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