TRENDS ECONOMY BUSINESS OUTLOOK
Singapore - High labour costs top concerns among local businesses in the next 12 months, according to a new report by KPMG.
Results of the report were from participants surveyed during a business forum hosted by KPMG, which aimed to understand the concerns for businesses in Singapore and how they could be addressed in the upcoming Budget.
Most companies surveyed predicted threats of rising costs in the coming year, which could worsen the currently bleak job climate.
Firms have also become increasingly jittery given the current uncertain global economic outlook.
To tackle rising wage costs, KPMG suggested reintroducing the Jobs Credit Scheme to encourage companies to hire more older workers and Singaporeans.
"[The scheme] could support businesses through the uncertain economic outlook and ease the reliance on foreign workers," KPMG said.
The scheme had subsidised a portion of wage costs, easing the stress on businesses and reducing the possibility of retrenchment. It was praised for keeping unemployment low during the economic downturn in 2009.
"It serves as an excellent example of how the government can help protect jobs in the private sector during times of economic upheaval," KPMG explained.
Other measures were also proposed to help local businesses tide over the rise in costs. Rebates on property taxes and rental rebates for tenants in Jurong Town Corporation and Housing and Development Board properties are amongst other new measures companies hope the Budget will adopt.
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