PM: We don't need poverty line to help the poor
Singapore's needy have diverse needs that call for multi-layered help
Singapore is past the point where a poverty line is useful, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong indicated yesterday, as its groups of needy now take shifting and multi-faceted form.
Hence, the Government's "kueh lapis" approach to social assistance, he said, summoning a metaphor that Minister of Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing used to describe the multi-layered help it provides to those in need.
Speaking to reporters after a Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, Mr Lee weighed in for the first time on recent calls to establish a poverty line in Singapore, after Hong Kong did so in September.
He said that a poverty line like the World Bank's measure of $1.50 a day was irrelevant in Singapore as there are no "dead poor" here, by which he means those who are starving and unsheltered.