Dr Amy Khor: More outreach needed to help the public understand budget measures

Dr Amy Khor said that greater communication is needed to help the public understand the rationale behind measures introduced during this year's Budget.
Dr Amy Khor said that greater communication is needed to help the public understand the rationale behind measures introduced during this year's Budget. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE- More communication is needed to help the public understand the rationale behind measures that were announced at the recently passed budget, said Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and the Environment and Water Resources on Tuesday.

Dr Khor was speaking on the sidelines of a Post-Budget Dialogue jointly organised by the People's Association (PA) Women's Integration Network Council and Active Ageing Council at the PA Headquarters. It was attended by about 100 women and seniors who shared their views on various budget measures.

"We need to do a lot more communication to explain budget measures that have been announced, especially on the ground," said Dr Khor.

"Maybe they (members of the public) have heard or seen the news but they have actually not gone into the details. I think it's really important that we help them to understand... at least the policy intent."

The Silver Support Scheme is one example, said Dr Khor. The scheme aims to support the bottom 20 to 30 per cent of elderly Singaporeans and will enable about 140,000 eligible seniors aged 65 and above to get $300 to $750 every three months.

At the dialogue, some participants had raised concerns about housing type being used as criterion, saying this would leave out some people who live in bigger flats but still require the assistance.

Dr Khor explained that housing type was only one of the criteria that would be used to identify seniors who qualify for the scheme. The other two are lifetime wages and the level of household support.

"We need to explain that there are three criteria and they all work together," she added.

Concerning household support, seniors must come from the bottom third of households where, on average, each member earns not more than $1,100 per month.

During the dialogue, participants also shared their views on measures such as the National Silver Academy, which will promote learning among seniors.

Feedback gathered from the session will be given to the relevant agencies and ministries, added Dr Khor.

Accountant Angelin Koh, 62, said the dialogue was a good platform to share her feedback. "I get to share my views and also listen to what others think," she added.