So I was quite glad to hear of this Public Assistance scheme. It has a stringent selection criteria. There are only about 3,000 households are on it. Only Singapore citizens who are unable to work owing to old age, illness or unfavourable family circumstances; AND have no means of subsistence and no family members to depend on, are eligible. This is all reasonable requirements. However, for a single-adult household, only $290 per month is given to them. $100 will go to rental, power supply and S&C, leaving them with only $6 a day to live on. Tell me if that is enough for subsistence living. Many of them are skipping 1 meal to get by.
When Dr Lily Neo asked that more be given to them, she proposed $400 as a more reasonable figure, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said that the current amount is enough. He say that for a household of 3, they already give an amount that exceeds $900. "At that level, you are getting dangerously close to the earnings of a low-wage worker" He said. I don't have the figures to make the calculations, but $900 looks like a reasonable amount to me. Bear in mind that it's for a 3-person household who do not have the capacity to earn money. So what about the $290 given to the single-adult households?
Dr Vivian Balakrishnan also mention a lot of times that the selection criteria has to be stringent so that we can give more. We agree with that. But I thought Dr Lily Neo is asking for more to be given to them and not ask for a relaxation of the selection criteria? The selection criteria is now stringent, but why aren't more given?
After refusing to pay a $110 increase to those poor people, they started arguing for a increase in their salary.