Dispense financial aid in a more direct manner

I read the case of a family in need brought up in Dr Sudha Nair's commentary and thought of the entitlement mentality some Singaporeans have when applying for financial assistance (Helping families find hope and courage to change; June 23).

With the Government heralding a GST increase to 9 per cent in the next few years due to an increased allocation for social spending, it is imperative to guard against any abuse in the social safety net now.

On top of asking more detailed and in-depth questions to assess one's eligibility for aid, another way to do so would be to provide financial assistance directly to meet the normative needs of deserving applicants.

This could be in the form of the Ministry of Social and Family Development paying for utility bills (capped at a certain amount), arranging for the delivery of basic daily necessities like rice, milk powder and diapers, and providing credit to ez-link cards instead of handing out cash, which could be used unwisely.

With taxpayers' funds going into national assistance schemes and the citizenry shouldering a greater tax burden in the coming years, we have to act now in being more prudent when handing out financial assistance.

Lee Yong Se