Singapore Budget 2014: 1,800 more families to benefit from ComCare assistance

Some 1,800 more families who require short- to medium-term assistance will benefit from ComCare, the Government's main fund to help the needy.

The household income cap for ComCare assistance will be raised from $1,700 to $1,900, said Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing in Parliament on Thursday.

To meet the needs of families with more dependents, the income cap per person will also increase from $550 to $650.

The changes will cost the Government an additional $15.4 million a year.

ComCare is the Government's main fund to help the needy. Mr Chan said in last year's Budget that social assistance schemes are being reviewed by the Government to ensure that the needy do not fall through the cracks because of rigid criteria.

Yet Mr Chan also stressed that the assistance needed to enable people to get back on their feet should go beyond cash handouts.

"Help must come as integrated package, not just financial assistance but to get to the root of problems we must also look at jobs, housing and education," he said.

Depending on the needs of the family, the help that may be extended is manifold. Households can get monthly cash allowances, vouchers for utility, rent and transport as well as subsidised treatment in polyclinics and hospitals.

Mr Chan said the ministry will exercise more flexibility to help those in need. Besides having more generous eligibility criteria, those who require more handholding may get a period of assistance extended to help them tide over difficult times.

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