NTUC revises income criteria for voucher programmes to benefit more union members

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has revised its criteria for U Stretch Vouchers and U Care Back To School Vouchers programmes so as to benefit more low-income union members and their families.
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has revised its criteria for U Stretch Vouchers and U Care Back To School Vouchers programmes so as to benefit more low-income union members and their families. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has revised its criteria for its two main assistance programmes to benefit more low-income union members and their families, it said on Wednesday (June 14).

The changes come under NTUC U Care Fund, established in 2009 to consolidate the labour movement's fundraising efforts.

Starting Thursday (June 15), eligible union members with dependents in the same household and having a total monthly gross household income of $3,400 and below, or

per capita income of $850 and below, may apply for U Stretch Vouchers and U Care Back To School Vouchers.

Previously, the incomes were capped at $3,000 and $750.

The monthly gross personal income ceiling for U Stretch Vouchers will be raised from $1,450 to $1,500 for members without dependents living in the same household in Singapore. This year, the labour movement has set aside $2.675 million in U Stretch Vouchers and $3.8 million in U Care Back To School Vouchers, which are expected to help 31,500 members and 30,400 school-going children. In 2016, more than 21,000 members and 24,000 children benefited from the schemes.

Members can use their U Stretch Vouchers at participating NTUC social enterprises including NTUC FairPrice supermarkets and NTUC Foodfare food courts as well as NTUC Unity pharmacies and Denticare clinics.

NTUC U Care Back To School Vouchers are valid for the purchase of school-related items from participating partners including authorised school bookshops and Bata shoe stores.

Mr Zainal Sapari, NTUC assistant secretary-general and director, Care and Share Department, said: "To stay relevant to changing needs, we regularly review our programmes and initiatives... We hope to be able to help more union members-in-need lighten their financial load. This is made possible with the generosity of our donors, whose contributions enable us to continue our efforts to make a difference to the lives of our beneficiaries."

NTUC U Care Fund's donors include the Singapore Labour Foundation, NTUC FairPrice Foundation, NTUC's social enterprises, NTUC affiliated unions and associations, tripartite partners as well as corporate and individual donors.