Singapore Ministry of Finance has announced that income inequality has been narrowing and the real wages of low- and middle-income Singaporeans have steadily increased over the past five years, both at the individual and household levels.

According to the third edition of the Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review (SPOR), conducted by the Ministry of Finance and released on Aug. 7, lower-income Singaporean workers in 2013 earned 1,800 SGD per month, up 6 percent since 2009, after taking inflation into account. Median monthly income was 3,480 SGD, an increase of 9 percent over the same period.

Singaporean households, at the low-income and median levels, earned 1,011 SGD and 2,114 SGD, respectively, per household member last year. This is an increase of 14 percent in real terms since 2009 for both groups.

The SPOR noted that rising wages for low- and middle-income group and falling inflation led to narrowed income inequality.

According to some economists, the rise in real income can be attributed to the government’s measures to strengthen social safety nets through transfers and great progressive taxes.

The review noted that labour productivity growth has generally been weak in recent years, although several industries like precision engineering and food manufacturing have seen a significant pick-up in productivity, especially among small and medium enterprises (SMEs).-VNA