Updated: 08/08/2014 00:01

S'pore income inequality narrowed by rising real income and more progressive taxes



S'pore income inequality narrowed by rising real income and more progressive taxes

Income inequality has fallen in Singapore over the past five years, helped by an increase in earnings for lower-paid workers and more progressive taxes. 

Last year, Singapore workers in the bottom 20th percentile earned $1,800 a month, which is an increase of 6 per cent since 2009 after accounting for inflation. 

At the median-level, salaries have gone up 9 per cent to $3,480.

This is according to the Finance Ministry's Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review, or SPOR. 

The Ministry added that taxes have become more progressive during this time, and this has also helped to narrow the income gap. 

The report also notes that several industries like precision engineering and food manufacturing have seen a significant pick-up in productivity but overall improvements in productivity have generally been weak in recent years. 

Meanwhile, although crime rates fell to a 30-year-low in 2013, the report says last December's Little India riot, as well as the cyber attacks on government websites last year, highlighted the risks faced by Singapore. 

The report also identified public transport standards and an ageing population as areas of concern. 

The SPOR is published every two years by the Finance Ministry, with inputs from all ministries.

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