More flexible in helping needy: How long, what criterion, how much?

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Govt will be more flexible with help for S’poreans

I refer to the article “Govt will be more flexible with help for needy S’poreans” (Today, 9 January).

A longer-than-usual period

It states that “Amid a slowing economy and mounting concerns over the jobs situation, the Government is prepared to provide financial assistance to the needy — including families whose breadwinners have lost their jobs — over a longer-than-usual period, and exercise more flexibility in assessing potential cases”.

What is the usual period?

So, what is the “usual period” of assistance? I understand that this has never been made public before and has never been reported by the media.

What is the “criterion”?

As to “I’m quite aware that as the situation perhaps becomes more uncertain … we are prepared to look at various cases even though it may not quite meet our criterion today,” he said. This means getting Ministry of Social and Family Development officers to exercise “flexibility and latitude” when assessing borderline cases and extending periods of assistance” – what is the “criterion” today?

I understand that this has also never been made public before and has never been reported by the media.

Amount of assistance?

By the way – other than the “usual period” and “criterion” – what is the amount of assistance and how are they computed?

I understand that this too has also never been made public before and has never been reported by the media.