The National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) is revising its criteria for those who would qualify for its assistance schemes.
With the revision, it is expected that 11,000 more low-income families will benefit, the labour movement said on Sunday. This is in addition to the existing 50,000 recipients last year which benefited from the schemes.
Under the NTUC’s U-Care programme, which was established in 2009 “to consolidate the Labour Movement’s fundraising efforts to better the welfare of our low-income members and their families”, union members can receive up to S$100 worth of vouchers for their daily necessities.
And with its U-Care Back to School vouchers programme, members can also apply to receive vouchers worth S$125 for their children’s school expenses.
However, to qualify for these schemes, members with dependants in the same household must have a monthly gross household income of S$2,800 or below.
This amount will be increased to S$3,000.
“The criteria have always been reviewed regularly and this is one of our regular reviews,” said NTUC Secretary-General Chan Chun Sing.
“So every year we look at the basket of goods, the cost of living, the kind of expenses that our members have and then, as and when necessary, we will revise it. And it also depends on the funds that we are able to raise for the families in need.”
This year, the NTUC aims to raise S$10.5 million for the U-Care Fund, through various activities including four Family Recreation & Fun Carnivals which will be held throughout the year.
With a expected 61,000 recipients this year, each beneficiary would received some S$172.00.
Since its inception in 2009, the NTUC itself has also contributed to the U-Care Fund directly.
In 2009, it gave S$1.16 million to the fund, followed by S$1 million each in the next two subsequent years of 2010 and 2011.
This amount, however, has since been halved to S$500,000 each in 2012 and 2013, according to NTUC’s Income’s Financial Statements.