Look at The Independent Singapore attacking Minister Chan Chun Seng for not helping the poor by blaming him for not defining a poverty line when he was the Minister of MSF.
Really? Does having a poverty line to define the poor helps them? Look at countries with a single poverty line. Why are they still struggling with poor people if that line helps?
Minister Chan didn’t define a poverty line because 1 line will not fully reflect the severity and complexity of issues faced by the poor, and might also lead to those above the line missing out on assistance! That we have multiple lines of assistance which so much better than just 1 poverty line!
No help for the poor? Who is The Independent Singapore kidding?
We have decided to have different criteria to identify groups of Singaporeans who require support, depending on the purpose. In other words, we have multiple lines of assistance instead of a single poverty line. We believe this approach is more flexible. It allows us to extend assistance to more people and tailor assistance to different groups and needsA single official poverty line to identify the “poor” or to assess the efficacy of our schemes is one-dimensional. It has limitations in informing policies as it does not take into account the differing nature of needs such as housing, health, employment, family issues. Neither does it provide useful information on the depth or intensity of needs of low income families.
The Government has regularly reviewed its assistance programmes and subsidies in anticipation of evolving needs. Over the years, we have raised the level of help given to needy households.For instance, our population is rapidly ageing and more elderly would need eldercare services. To increase the accessibility of community-based eldercare services, MCYS has extended subsidies to such services up to the 50th income percentile in October this year. We have also increased funding to senior activities centres that serve low income elderly.