If like Workers Party Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim, you think an unemployment insurance will work for Singapore, maybe you should think again.
Think about it, wouldn’t it be better for the unemployed to be given opportunities to look for employment or skills upgrading in order to prepare one’s self for the next employment instead of allowing an unemployed rely on an insurance?
There is a certain risk where an individual becomes over-reliant on the payout and chooses to reduce the number of times he or she looks for a job or goes for training.
It’s just unsustainable isn’t it?
On a larger scale, if more people choose to fall back on unemployment insurance and not look for employment opportunities, then the national unemployment rate will increase.
As it is, unionised workers who are retrenched are mostly given retrenchment benefits to tide them through the difficult time and some are given an additional grant to undergo training courses to upgrade themselves in preparation for their next employment.
Just yesterday, MP for Mountbatten Lim Biow Chuan called for the legislation of the retrenchment benefits. He suggested that the law “should compel companies to pay a minimum sum of between three and six months of benefits, depending on the employee’s length of service.
If we concentrate too much on just handing out money to retrenched workers, then it will just look like a welfare system where the retrenched lose the motivation to look for jobs.
Also, if it is to be implemented, who is going to be in charge of it? The government? Would it mean that the insurance will be funded by taxes?
Again, I ask, would that be sustainable in the long-term?
Rather than giving a man a fish every day, won’t it be better if you teach a man to fish?
Similarly, rather than giving a man unemployment insurance payouts, won’t it be better to provide retrenchment benefits which includes a training grant to upgrade himself and find a possibly better employment?