SINGAPORE: Close to two—thirds of families who employ foreign domestic workers (FDW) benefit from the concessionary levy rate.
The concessionary rate is S$170 per month, compared to the regular rate of S$265.
Acting Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan—Jin added that a FDW caregiver grant of S$120 per month is also given to households with a per capita monthly income of up to S$2,200.
Mr Tan was responding to calls by Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Lee Bee Wah to reduce the foreign domestic worker levy to help families cope with the higher cost of hiring these helpers.
He said the government needs to strike a balance while managing demand. "What we also need to manage with the levy system really is also managing demand. There may be other families who may not necessarily need the foreign domestic workers but if you excessively reduce the levies, that will have an impact. So it’s a balance. But that’s also why we establish certain criteria to support those families in need," Mr Tan said.
The government will also be conducting a pilot study to see the suitability of Cambodia as a source for foreign domestic workers.
Currently, there are 10 approved sources for foreign domestic workers including Indonesia, Philippines, India and Sri Lanka.
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