12,000 HOUSEHOLDS RECEIVE FINANCIAL HELP BUT 360,000 STILL LIVING IN POVERTY?

According to GOH LI SIAN, RESEARCH AND ADVOCACY COORDINATOR, AWARE’s letter ”Most govt reports do not deal with policies’ budgetary impact” (Today, May 21) – “While these (Government) reports provide some helpful information, they do not tend to address the impact of budgetary policies per se. The statistics referenced in most of these reports relate to the social phenomena within these ministries’ remit, such as the level of crime or number of workplace accidents, rather than the allocation of expenditure under specific initiatives and policies.

 

ComCare – no applications’ statistics

The ComCare Annual Report is a welcome exception, as it shows how much money is given out under the various ComCare schemes. However, these statistics could be more comprehensive, since figures on the number of applications received are not released.”

My curiousity was aroused by the above, as the ComCare statistics did give the number of applications for financial assistance and the success rate in the past – which apparently has disappeared, according to AWARE’s above letter.

As I had just wrote “1 million living in poverty?” – I looked at the ComCare statistics to see how many needy families actually received financial assistance.

 

15,699 households received ComCare financial assistance

According to Social Statistics 2014  - the number of families that received ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance was 12,535 in 2013.

The number that received ComCare long-term assistance was 3,164 (I understand that this figure has remained at around 3,000 for more than a decade!).

So, the total number on Short-to-Medium Term and Long-term Assistance was 15,699 (12,535 + 3,164).

 

But 107,490 households per capita income $494

Even if we do not talk about the bottom second and third deciles of employed households or the 3.4 per cent of non-retiree households with no working persons and 7 per cent of retiree households which may fall below the ComCare criteria of $650 household per capita income – the bottom decile alone had about 107,490 employed households with per capita monthly income of only $494 (including employer CPF).

 

Only 15% of bottom decile received ComCare financial assistance?

So, does it mean that only about 15 per cent (15,699 ComCare financial assistance divided by 107,490 bottom decile households) actually received ComCare financial assistance?

 

Only 4% of those in poverty received ComCare financial assistance?

If we relate this to the 360,000 (30 per cent) households) estimated to be in poverty – does it mean that only about 4 per cent (15,699 divided by 360,000) received ComCare financial assistance?

 

Short-term financial assistance less than $200?

According to the ComCare Annual Report FY2013 – $31.36 million was disbursed to 17,182 households on short-term assistance in FY2013 – with only 6,867 households remaining (still on) assistance as at 31 March 2014.

So, does it mean that the average monthly financial assistance per household was less than $200 ($31.36 million divided by 17,182 = $152)?

 

Medium-term financial assistance less than $250?

Similarly, $24.34 million was disbursed to 8,774 households on medium-term assistance – with only 5,520 households remaining as at 31 March  2014.

So, does it mean that the average monthly medium-term financial assistance was less than $250 ($24.34 million divided by 8,774 = $231)?

 

Please tell us more

Why can’t the ComCare annual report just disclose the average amount of monthly financial assistance per household?

 

Win battles lose war

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