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Written Answer by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on number of Work Permits, S Passes and Employment Passes issued since tightening of foreign workers' quota

Mr Yaw Shin Leong: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Manpower if he will provide a breakdown of the number of work permits, S passes and employment passes issued in each month from July 2010 to January 2012 since the implementation of the foreign workforce tightening measures in July 2010.

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam:

The foreign workforce tightening measures have been phased in from July 2010. Foreign worker levies are being increased in steps, starting from July 2010 to July 2013. The salary and other criteria for S Pass and Employment Pass holders are also being phased in.

The impact of these measures will hence not be seen instantly. Their effects should be seen over the next few years, and have to be assessed against the context of the state of the economy, the demand for labour and the availability of local workers.

The table below provides the year-end stock of Employment Pass, S Pass and Work Permit holders (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers) for 2010 and 2011.

 Employment Pass
 142,000 176,000
 S Pass
 98,000 113,000
 Work Permit (excluding Foreign Domestic Workers)
 670,000 702,000