Singapore, 17th February 2020 – In the lead up to the announcement of Singapore budget 2020 on 18th February 2020, Ipsos conducted a survey amongst a nationally representative sample of 913 Singapore citizens aged 18 to 64 years old to understand what their top concerns are. The survey was conducted over the period of 5th to 10th February 2020.
What worries Singaporeans
The top areas of concern for Singaporeans are the job market & unemployment (48%), healthcare (42%) and poverty & social inequality (33%). This is followed by climate change (28%) and immigration control (25%).
Tan Hui-Ching, Director of Public Affairs at Ipsos in Singapore said, “Given the current health crisis, it is naturally a top concern for Singaporeans at this time. But our data shows that Singaporeans are confident that the country is well-equipped to manage the crisis. What is interesting to see is Singaporeans’ concern for poverty and social inequality. While Singapore has one of the highest per capita income in the world, there is still a significant proportion of those who are vulnerable - nearly 20% of households who have a monthly household income of less than $2,000 - who hope to benefit from this year's budget.”
Inequality among those with disabilities and between social classes
When thinking about opportunities in general, Singaporeans say there is some level of inequality accorded to different demographics of the population – be it by age, gender, race, religion or even educational background and language. 38% of Singaporeans feel that most inequality is experienced by people with disabilities and 29% say inequality is most apparent between social classes.
Another aspect in which inequality is observed by 27% of Singaporeans is that among people of different income levels. Nearly 4 in 5 respondents agree that Singapore’s economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful.
On government subsidies, more Singaporeans (60%) feel that the ideal scenario would be where low-income groups receive more government subsidies than high-income groups. This view is held by respondents across all income levels. 25% of Singaporeans are of the opinion that equal amount of subsidies should be given to all citizens and 16% feel that only low-income groups should receive the subsidies.
Singaporeans want to be involved
Most Singaporeans (90%) agree that it is important that Singaporeans are actively engaged in matters related to local policies and issues. 4 in 5 Singaporeans say their opinions are important (85%) and that they are qualified to share their opinions (83%). However, they do believe it is the government’s responsibility to encourage citizens to be more engaged in matters relating to local policies and issues.
Tan adds, “We have seen many instances of ungracious behaviour of Singaporeans, around us or discussed in the media. But it is heartening to see that Singaporeans are interested in equality and that they feel it is important to have fair policies that look after the most vulnerable in our society.”
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