Leong Sze Hian

I refer to the article “NTUC speeds up aid to workers” (ST, May 31).

It says;

The labour movement is moving speedily to help 194,000 members affected by the recession this year with $23.2 million worth of cash, vouchers and bursaries.”

I would like to applaud the NTUC for so speedily helping 194,000 union members affected by the recession this year.

However, as NTUC has about 500,000 unionised members, this means that two out of five members are affected by the recession and need assistance.

I find this statistic to be quite alarming.

If we extrapolate from this and apply it to non-NTUC members, the number could be even more disconcerting. With a total resident workforce of 2 million, this could mean 800,000 workers are similarly affected by the recession and are in need of assistance!

NTUC Chief Lim Swee Say was reported to have said:

“We recognise the sum is not that big ($100 to $300), however for lower-wage earning between 800 to $1,000, it means a lot to them. It may not be a lot but what is important is that the labour movement continues to do its very best”.

Out of the $23.3 million set aside to help the needy, $7.6 million will be used for “family bonding initiatives” as well as to help the elderly. This means that only $15.7million is used to help the 194,000 members who need help.

This works out to an average of about $80 per year per member – or $6.66 per month per member. Indeed, it seems this is not very much once the numbers are broken down.

One question which needs to be asked is: How much of this $7.6 million will be used to promote family life at the six carnivals to be held this year at the NTUC Club’s Downtown East facility?

As the $7.6 million is about 33 per cent of the $23.3 million raised for the U Care Fund, I would like to suggest that more of it be used to help affected needy workers directly, so that it is more aligned with the main purpose of the fund.

As $80 per year assistance is not very much, I would also like to suggest that the Government and corporations try to contribute more to the U Care Fund.

We should also not forget non-NTUC members who are affected and need help, and try to find some way of helping them too.

To qualify for NTUC assistance, one would first need to be a member of the NTUC. This means one would have to pay a membership fee of $117 annually. Does it make sense then to become a member, and pay $117 for membership in order to receive $80 in assistance?

NTUC helping more people than the government?

According to the article, “If you really need help, ask : Yu-Foo” (ST, May 21), as at end March, about 24,000 people are getting financial and other forms of help under one of the ComCare progrrammes, up from about 21,000 in the same period last year.

This is an increase of about 14 per cent, year-on-year.

Since the NTUC can help 194,000 of its members, why is it that the Government is only helping 24,000 Singaporeans?

Applications for assistance at the Community Development Councils in the first quarter of this year increased by 66 per cent year-on-year.

However, the number of Singaporeans who are receiving assistance has only increased by about 14 per cent?

66 percent applied but only 14 per cent receiving assistance? The obvious question one would ask is, what is the rejection rate for unsuccessful applications for financial assistance?

According to the Straits Times article, a total of 24,000 cases received aid in the first quarter, including those who applied last year and earlier. This is an increase of 485 cases, compared to the last quarter of 2008.

In another Straits Times report on 31 May titled, “More seeking financial aid”, it was reported that:

“[There were] 15,000 applications for financial assistance between January and March this year, and of the applications processed so far, about 7 in 10 have been approved.”

Why is it that the number receiving aid for the whole quarter has only increased by 485 cases?

Shouldn’t the figure be about 10,500 – since 7 in 10 out of 15,000 applications were approved?

In this connection, it was also reported that there were 40,681 applications last year.

Since the last update from ComCare was that it gave financial assistance to about 24,000 needy families last year, why is it that the latest update now says that the number is still 24,000 despite 485 new cases in the first quarter?

So, how is it that the 24,000 figure for last year has now shrunk to 23,515 (24,000 minus 485)?

Shouldn’t the figure have increased instead of decreased, in view of increasing applications of 10 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 66 per cent year-on-year?

Perhaps the relevant authorities involved should explain all these confusing and fuzzy numbers so that Singaporeans know for sure how much money is actually going to those who need help and how many are actually being helped.

At the moment, the numbers do not seem to make sense.

—-

Subscribe
Notify of
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

田径总会暂封锁苏睿勇 避免在社媒群组发文“散播负能量”

日前本社报导,新加坡运动选手将在今年11月30日,赴菲律宾马尼拉出征2019年东南亚运动会。但是,2015、2017年东运会马拉松冠军得主苏睿勇,却无缘在这场体育盛事角逐金牌。 新加坡国家奥林匹克委员会(SNOC)称,我国将派出585选手角逐49项目。不过名单中却没有苏睿勇。奥委会指出,遴选委员会已审慎审核全国体育协会呈交的选手名单。 至于新加坡田径总会(SA)提名苏睿勇参加2019东运会,遭到遴选委员会驳回。 奥委会指出,遴选委员会已审慎审核全国体育协会呈交的选手名单,指苏睿勇自2017年东运会以来,作为国家代表和青年运动员的典范,却表现出“不符合该委会期望的态度和行为”。 对此苏睿勇曾形容,奥委会主席陈川仁等人的做法,拘泥小节,“这就好像小学里的“游乐场政治”,就因为你说了他们不喜欢的话,他们就“不跟你好了”!” 然而,据了解,新加坡田径总会执行董事马利克(译名,Syed Abdul Malik Aljunied)表示,已“暂时”把苏睿勇封锁在总会的聊天群组和社媒平台外,包括whatsapp、脸书、推特和Instagram等,避免后者在这些平台发文,带来负面影响。 据《今日报》报道,马利克认为,“他的帖文总显负面,我们非常担心他的帖文会对团队带来负面的影响。我们想要鼓励选手发布更多正能量帖文,就如我们应该把焦点放在20位入选参加东南亚运动会(SEA)的选手。” 针对封锁苏睿勇,马利克表示将会持续封锁他,直至协会能够与他进行对话,并在对话后“达成某些一致的原则”。 苏睿勇则于周一(5日)在个人脸书上抨击新加坡田径总会的封锁,认为他们宁愿以封锁他,也不愿意与他接洽。…

【冠状病毒19】大士村客工宿舍再次列为感染群

昨日(25日)本地新增51例冠状病毒19病例,其中包括七例入境病例和一例社区病例。 卫生部文告指出,入境病例包括三名家属证件持有者,以及一名长期探访准证持有者,他们分别于本月9日和10日从印度和荷兰入境我国。另外两名则为工作证件持有者,于本月12日分别从印度和印尼抵达我国,还有一名则为本地永久居民,于本月12日从印度抵达我国。 这些入境病例于入境后开始履行14天的居家通知,并在隔离期间接受冠病检测。 除了上述入境病例,我国昨日也新增一例社区病例,该名患者为65岁本地妇女,无症状者。她与早前确诊病例有关,日前接受隔离,并在隔离期间接受了冠病检测。 另一方面,一例新确诊病例和早前公布的五起病例都跟大士南1道的大士村客工宿舍(Tuas View Dormitory)有关联,使本已列为安全的客工宿舍,再次成为感染群。 当局也透露,所有曾在本月1日和2日到访卡迪内政团队战备人员协会内Jewel Music Box KTV的322人已接受冠病检测,检测结果均呈阴性。 当局说,当时Jewel…

Police refutes false claims regarding raid in Clementi, says no drug seizure and firearms involved

Singapore Police Force has clarified that there was no seizure of drugs…

West Coast GRC MP more receptive towards discussing 377A with his constituents

Early last week, a resident of the Nee Soon GRC shared a…