The Business Times

Carrots and sticks for construction industry

Levy for basic skilled worker to go up; upgrade to higher skilled level made easier

Mindy Tan
Published Fri, Feb 21, 2014 · 10:00 PM
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THE construction sector was singled out as the only sector bucking the trend of slowing foreign workforce growth by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday, as he unveiled a mixed toolkit of carrots and sticks aimed at the construction sector.

The biggest stick in the toolbox was the increase in levy for basic skilled construction workers that will take effect in July 2016. Specifically, the levy for these workers (R2 work permit holders) employed within Man-Year Entitlement (MYE) will be increased from $600 to $700 while levies for higher-skilled workers will remain unchanged.

Despite the fact that the levy hike will only take effect in two years, construction firms involved in larger projects which take a longer time to complete will still be affected, said Ho Nyok Yong, president of The Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL).

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