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Handouts for the poor top $100m mark

Biggest leap in social assistance help was in short-term payouts, which grew to $24.5m

Published on Oct 20, 2013 7:36 AM
WHO IS POOR? Estranged from his family, Mr Lee Yong Hong, 62, gets free meals and lives in a rental flat. He represents one group of elderly poor in Singapore. A team of experts has called for more data so more can be done to help the poor. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Social assistance payments to the poor crossed the $100 million mark for the first time to reach $102.4million in the last financial year ending in March.

That was a nearly 45 per cent jump from the previous year and more than double the $44.5million given out five years ago.

The money came from the Community Care (ComCare) Endowment Fund, set up by the Government in 2005 to help needy families get back on their feet. Overall, 33,266 families and individuals were helped last year, up from 19,072 five years ago.

ComCare provides three broad types of assistance: long-term help, largely for the elderly poor; medium- and shorter-term help for those facing crises, such as illness or retrenchment; and childcare, kindergarten and infant care subsidies for children.

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