Parliament: Nine in 10 families remain on benefits scheme for those who keep families small

SINGAPORE - About nine in 10 families on the Home Ownership Plus Education (Hope) scheme have remained on the programme that gives them financial aid to keep their families small.

Ministry of Social and Family Development Parliamentary Secretary Low Yen Ling said on Monday that these families have kept to having two children or fewer, and as such remain on the programme.

She was responding to Mr Faisal Manap (Aljunied GRC), who had asked for the percentage of families under the scheme that managed to keep the number of children at two.

The Hope programme, implemented in 2004, provides benefits to young, low-income families who keep to having two children or fewer.

Ms Low said in Parliament that 306 families have withdrawn from the programme. Of these families, 80 per cent did so within five years of joining the programme.

About 40 per cent said they wished to have a third child, she said adding that these families can tap on other social support programmes by both government and community agencies.

Ms Low also said couples are encouraged to attend marriage preparation programmes. She said her ministry is rolling out the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Programme (PREP) soon.