Only 3,800 on Public Assistance?

Photo: CNA

I refer to the article “Lonely and ‘waiting to die’, Singapore’s elderly poor find hope in many helping hands” (Channel NewsAsia, May 19).

$500 financial assistance a month

It states that ““She was receiving financial assistance, about S$500 a month,” said Ms Ahmala, a care executive with NTUC Health Cluster Support in Bukit Merah. “But she wasn’t managing it. She was always left with nothing, and she could never tell what happened to her money.”

No money to go for medical appointment?

And then there’s the cost of transport just to keep a doctors’ appointment, or of getting the proper nutrition. Said Mr Oh:

The elderly poor are prioritising their basic needs over their health. They will say that they can’t even afford three meals a day.

“The worst case I met, he’s surviving on S$2 chicken rice a day and S$1 mineral water. The rest of the day he will just eat biscuits.””

Got Public Assistance Scheme?

As to “Singapore’s elderly poor are not short of assistance schemes by the State to meet their material needs: From heavy medical subsidies and food vouchers, to long-term financial assistance, and even rental waivers for those on Public Assistance” – an important statistic may be missing.

How many on Public Assistance?

How many are on ComCare’s Public Assistance Scheme?

Only 3,800 on Public Assistance?

According to the article “Parliament: Higher cash allowance for those on Public Assistance” (Straits Times, Apr 12, 2016) – “About 3,800 households, mostly elderly households, are expected get the increment.

Can’t work due to old age, illness or disability, & no means of income & family support?

Those on Public Assistance – also known as ComCare Long Term Assistance – are Singaporeans who cannot work due to old age, illness or disability. They also have little or no means of income and family support.”

No. on Public Assistance only increased by 1,086 in 12 years?

The number of Singaporeans who qualify under the Public Assistance Scheme (PA) has increased, from 2714 in December 2004, to about 3,800 in 2016.

50% rejection rate?

Prior to May 2014 – when the question was last asked in Parliament as to the rejection rate for applications for Public Assistance, the answer was that about 50 per cent were rejected.

Lowest ratio of Public Assistance to population in the world?

Singapore’s ratio of PA receipients relative to the population may be one of the lowest in the world.

 

Leong Sze Hian

Chairman
Singapore Professional Centre
President
Maruah Singapore
Former Honorary Consul
Jamaica and Burkina Faso
Past President
Society of Financial Service Professionals
Institute of Administrative Management

 

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23 Responses to “Only 3,800 on Public Assistance?”

  • LIONS:

    Worse still,JOBLESS SGS senior citizens must PAY GST ON HIGH MEDICAL BILLS despite scant social assistances for them.

    And,if they need to take care of their AGED SICK Parents,the FINANCIAL BURDEN becomes unbearable,not just heavy?

    Meanwhile,PM’s wifey n GIC throw BIG MONEY at alien companies n RECOUP their LOSSES by RAISING OUB BILLS ETC.

    SGS NEED TO WAKE UP.

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  • Amos: 1 PAP: 0:

    Of course, it is low for two reasons:
    (1) “you get sick even die, your business”
    (2) many would rather suffer than be humiliated when asking for assistance

    LKY was very “utilitarian”. You don’t contribute to GDP growth he does not care about you. He ingrained this in his (d**honourable) son and in PAP. Singaporeans are to be “used, abused and discarded”.

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  • Ah Peng Kia:

    Singaporeans pay 36% of their income monthly into CPF which rules they have no control over. Is it better to pay this 36% as tax with the government guaranteeing a monthly annuity to all elderly from 65 onwards, heavily subsidised / free healthcare and free basic education? That way, all elderly will have a monthly income and would not need to worry about meeting basic needs. This may be a radical idea in Singapore but it’s certainly not new, and widely practised in many first world countries. Many detractors will say this will bankrupt the country, but if managed well, every citizen will have basic needs met, and have a dignified existence. Denmark is just one great example.

    Some will ask why they should pay high tax to support other people, but think about it, can you guarantee your good health and job security forever? If you become too ill to work, meet with an accident, and even in your old age, you will be supported too under such a scheme. As family size shrinks and cost of living rises, we cannot depend on our children to support us in our old age anymore. Wouldn’t it be better to pay towards guaranteed retirement annuity and good healthcare? CPF has failed many, now it’s time to demand this highly paid government to explore alternative ideas instead of always thinking about fattening reserves even more and bloating their own bank accounts.

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  • flabbergasted:

    Why is Government Investment Corporation ((GIC) suddenly changed to GIC Pte Ltd?

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  • ConCare:

    A estimate of the financial assistance given to the 3800 amount to less than $1.3 million. What is the total annual budget and other administrative and executives cost incurred. I believe it will reveal surprising figures that the Comcare scheme benefits not the original intent to help the poor but the people running it.

    Poor Gets Poorer

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  • Very Busy Leh !:

    Got time for public assistance meh?? oledy so busy doing cardboard excise, ok!

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  • LIONS:

    Its time to implement a decent SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAM similar to that of ENRICHED RETIRED MINISTERS N PERM SECS for the PEOPLE!

    Don’t the PEOPLE think so?

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  • rukidding:

    This story somehow reminds me of Dr Vicvian’s $3 meal again ?

    And whenever I hear Dr Vicvian’s name being mentioned…I am reminded of the Youth Oylmpics “screw up”.

    This then reminded me of “ceiling cleaning”….which then reminded me of “dirt”,…which reminded me of “dust”…which then again reminded me of an “expensive courier boy” during the haze period.

    “Expensive” employee indeed ?

    Beh Ta Han !

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  • C'est la vie:

    *****
    The world’s highest paid Govt could not find a way, any way, in five decades, to look out for their oldest, neediest and poorest in their midst. It’s an indictment of the dereliction of duty, care and compassion that should be second nature to the “Chinese” culture, never mind …….. appointed servants to the people. A total disgrace ……… “shame on you” !!!
    **
    *****

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  • Dont give UBS, give to old!:

    Why waste monies on UBS?

    Take care of the old and needy instead!

    US$4 billion can do wonders!

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  • Do more please:

    Time to do more for the elderly poor in Singapore.
    They can’t survive in this costly Singapore….
    Duty to take care of them…good karma…

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  • ha??:

    I am told there are more than 200,000 Singaporean with some sort of disability living here, are they on disability benefits or rotting in their HDB flat?

    Well, you get what you vote for.

    Cest la vie, yes?

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  • SelfPoisoning:

    They can only offer crumbs to the weak, poor, sick and mentally deranged because they can’t afford anyone not to work or slave otherwise, how to maintain and feed the rich who lead and is glorified?

    You are at the cross road. You choose the rich man, with five brothers, you live with the oppression, and a abusers, and many will be wasted in their lattter years or die young. However, the rich man will not be problem free either. He will be cursed day and night until karma or the grim reaper sleeps with him.

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  • Let's start with you:

    Do more please:
    Time to do more for the elderly poor in Singapore.
    They can’t survive in this costly Singapore….
    Duty to take care of them…good karma…

    Talk is cheap. What good have you done for the elderly poor?

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  • rukidding:

    One quick look at the photo shown above ,one could immediately “sense” the look of a “Local True born and bred” Indian Girl and a local chinese ah mah and a message of “ONE UNITY” and “common goal”.

    This is not easy…and it took us 50yrs to reach this stage of “Bonding and Understanding” between the different races.

    I am not too sure how our PAPPY Ministers can be so “confident” of “the New Integration”,…when all I “sensed” are a “bunch of Opportunist” given “easy opportunities” by our own “G” to “gain easy entry and compete & steal Lunches” ?

    I hope the Ministers are not going to use the examples of “Our forefathers who also used to be immigrants…blah, blah ..”

    Times have changed !

    Lets not “dream that these New Immigrants can do the same as what our forefathers did” !

    Do we have another 50 yrs to wait ?

    Last time our neigbours were “slow” and had lesser “Growth Opportunities”.

    Another 5 years…our neighbours will probably “Out grown” Us and have “better growth opportunities”…..as our “World of own little island of Oyster” becomes smaller.

    You think these “New Immigrants and maybe even Newly instant minted sillyzeans” will stay and be “squeezed” by Pappy when opportunities back at their home starts to “Brighten” and opportunities here ,starts to “dampened” ?

    I hope Pappy will be “Brave enuff” by then to be “accountable” for what is being done .( and not just die and fade away , leaving those shitss behind for others to clear )

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  • Public Transport Voucher:

    After GE2015, NO more…
    BTW.. what’s $50.00 for 365days?

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  • 50% rejection rate?:

    One of the reasons being .. the elderly has child/children
    esp financially rich child/children
    … so what if they have rich kid(s)?

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  • Staff Must Be Damn Free!:

    If there are only 3,800 pax!

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  • Lets Start !:

    Try getting people who are more caring and more selfless into the government ?

    Like what @Dont give UBS, give to old, said “US$4 billion can do wonders!”

    Let's start with you: Talk is cheap. What good have you done for the elderly poor?

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  • Wait Long Long:

    Public Transport Voucher: After GE2015, NO more…BTW.. what’s $50.00 for 365days?

    Wait till almost the next GE you will get it
    … and the carrot-game continues

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  • Seriously! If only 3.8k cases.:

    The Ministry can be damned ‘switched off’!

    How many cases can they actually handle?

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  • Poor record:

    Singapore has poor record of taking care of its needy and poor.
    Serious lack of empathy for the poor by those in Charge…
    Never experience hardship before…
    Singapore need another young LKY….to shake the status quo…

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  • Rats can't vomit:

    Poor record:
    Singapore has poor record of taking care of its needy and poor.
    Serious lack of empathy for the poor by those in Charge…
    Never experience hardship before…
    Singapore need another young LKY….to shake the status quo…

    PAST TENSE didn’t die a hero, he lived long enough to see himself become the villain. I am willing to bet his face is set in terror by rigor mortis from feeling the anguish of hundred thousand of souls who had died from his infernal policies. That’s why his coffin is never open, only shown to the few other dictators who may learn from his folly.

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