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Budget 2013 Analysis

“Budget 2013 sends a clear signal to the business community: the push for productivity is here to stay and those that are most willing and able to adapt to the new business environment will be the ones to survive.

The further clampdown on the hiring of foreign workers via levy hikes and dependency ratio for industries such as construction, process and service means that there will be even fiercer competition for local manpower. I really feel for my clients and peers in the affected sectors because it will be very tough for them and they will need to restructure and realign their businesses in order to adapt to the new rules.

From the perspective of a business and organisational consultant, I understand fully Singapore Inc under its present leadership needs to revamp the way it conducts its business to stay competitive and to move forward on the macro level.

However, that translates into really challenging times especially for small companies on the micro level as they try to shift gears and move towards less reliance on foreign workers. Indeed, they ought try to achieve higher productivity in order for their businesses to remain viable and profitable.

My advice to our colleagues in the business community would be to leverage on the further enhanced Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme. Looking on the bright side, the government has also dished out new measures such as the 30% corporate tax rebate and Wage Credit Scheme involving a 40% co-funding for workers’ pay increases, which may be a great boost to tide through this difficult period.

As a talent acquisition company, Achieve Group in Singapore stands ready to help companies experiencing a talent shortage. We also have an HR Consulting division and we are able to assist with your talent retention strategies, as retaining talent becomes even more crucial in this tight labour market.

Remember the well known ‘Who moved my cheese’ book by Dr. Spencer Johnson? The ‘cheese’ will probably not be back and we need to bite the bullet and tackle the new landscape with an open mind. Because only then will we be able to devise innovative solutions that will help us restructure our businesses, adapt, and thrive in this new business environment.”