Entirely affordable for PAP to help the poor, so why are they not doing it?

Economist Yeoh Lam Keong

“The latest estimates are that there are around 250,0000 Singaporeans who are absolute poor. That’s about 100,000 to 130,000 or about 7.5-10% of households in Singapore.” – Lam Yeoh Keong

This is how bad Singapore’s poverty is. And mind you, this is only talking about people living in absolute poverty, and not yet relative poverty, which is estimated to be as high as 35%.

According to his estimates, there are about 60,000 to 75,000 households in Singapore which are absolute poor, even after receiving WIS.

Mr Yeoh described WIS as a ‘great scheme’, noting how it started at $150 a month and has increased to $250-$300 a month. Unfortunately, about 60% of that payout goes into CPF, leaving beneficiaries with only $100-$150 in cash each month when they actually need $700-$800 in cash.

As for Comcare, Mr Yeoh said it is not enough as it only reaches about 40% of those who need it, giving only $250-$300 a month. This only covers about 25% of the gap, said Mr Yeoh. And even if you add in all the other schemes and programmes, that still only covers about one-third of the gap.

Mr Yeoh suggests that the WIS be increased by about $500-$600 in cash. This would automatically raise the median take-home income above the living wage and ensure that basic needs are covered.

For the elderly, the government introduced the SSS in 2011 which is a non-contributory pension. In the beginning, the payouts were $200 per month, now it’s about $250 a month. Again, Mr Yeoh says it’s “excellent” that the scheme was introduced but is “way too little”.

Even with the Personal Assistance (PA) scheme and Comcare, about two-thirds of the problem is not being addressed.

He suggested increasing SSS by about $500 to $600 a month and having PA and Comcare be means-tested for special needs after the SSS payout.

This would raise the income of the retired poor to above $800 per capita per month, thus covering basic needs. This would still only be about two-thirds of the estimated basic income suggested by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) at National University of Singapore in May of $1,379 a month.

For this, the government would have to spend an extra $800 million to $1 billion a year or 0.2% of the GDP. But as the number of retirees triple, the cost would also triple to about $5.6 billion or 0.6% of the GDP by 2050. This, Mr Yeoh says, is also still “eminently affordable”.”


Roy Ngerng




26 Responses to “Entirely affordable for PAP to help the poor, so why are they not doing it?”

  • Dont cross your fingers:

    Wait loong loong.
    Its in their master plan..
    ..to keep some percentage of the population as servs n beholden to them and their handouts..
    Its asian politics…master and servants!

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  • TruBlu:

    Of course,sir,you cant be more right!


    What about F1?

    What about saving that $100 million per year n giving it to the poor?
    And what about those big sums spent on FT-scholarships.WHAT ARE THE REAL *RETURN ON INVESTMENTS* on these foreign kids???

    There are means to assist needy sgs but the scholar-gahmen will tell the YOUNG EDUCATED that the govt cannot do so in order not to increase future tax burden on them even as the gahmen issue LOLLIE$ paid from *UNTOUCHABLE RESERVES* to give to these YOUNG SGS TO $UCK IN EXCHANGE FOR VOTES???


    Wtf is going om here?!
    So much HYPOCRI$Y from sgs who are much more educated than me???

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  • The answer to why:

    The answer is very simple. The elite cannot stand seeing the poor get a few hundred dollars free. In contrast, they work so so hard and only get $2,000,000. It is very unfair to them.

    “Get out of our elite uncaring faces.”

    The second part of the answer is that this elite govt actively plans for/ or very happy to see a big group of poor people, who then provide very cheap labor to their enterprises.

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  • BooLee Diamdiam Sue:

    Wise move by PSP to hold talks like this to educate the citizens. Also very brave and noble of Mr Yeoh to speak and share in an event organised by an opposition party.

    With such kind of event organised by oppositions to raise political awareness, it’s no wonder the pap G has to rush to hold an election soon, very soon.

    There’s also something Mr Yeoh says that make me wonder if pm’s prince is the reason the G is keeping half of sg’s earnings from the reserves. Mr Yeoh rightly highlighted that it’s our seniors who helped to build sg not the future generation. More money should be spent to help the elderly. Why keep the reserves for our future generation instead?

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  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    Fellow Patriot Roy,…you must consider yourself lucky that you EXIST…thanks to your parents…had it been an evil man’s wish to BREAK the BONES and Will of every Patriot…many could not even be here in the land of their BIRTH but most likely singing and playing the harps in Heaven Having been EXTERMINATED for being children of Lower Mortals no thanks to an evil bast**d…

    Consider for a moment HOW we arrived to be 1st world if NOT for the FACT that an evil bast**d sold the souls of this Nation for 30 silver coins to Kissinger and US investment in the 70s

    Poverty and lowly educated are the scums in the slitty eyes of a man who beleive he is ABOVE most human and MUST be Destroyed or Denied in order for the fittest or the ELITES to ENJOY in this little DOT easily Managed with Evil & Cruelty…Hitler tried in Germany but succeeded for a while until the hand of Rightiouneous destroyed his dreams…Germany was too big to manage and the WORLD that is Total Madness…but for the Evil in a Little DOT it is CONsidered Brillant!!!

    The Moral of the story??? you cannot be exterminated Destroyed through LEEgal Abortion but you can be DENEID for being Poor!!!

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  • NotMyProblem:

    With $150 you would not die but you are not living either. That’s how modern slavery!

    Just hope the 70% wake up, these people have never seen what’s poverty is about. They think those who are poor asking for it!

    A lot of these poor were the result of government’s bad policies, it only benefit the rich where the poor get poorer.

    Change this PAP government and everything will be brighter for the poor.

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  • Realistically:

    @ Roy Ngerng

    It is of course enlightening of Mr Yeoh’s address with more specific figures.

    However, can the Singapore economy/budget continue to be “eminently affordable” always?

    If not what’s the problem?

    How to generate revenue to fund the “eminently affordable” spent on social welfare to increase the financial needs of the poverty striken members of society?

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  • RDB:

    They pay themselves so humongously high to live in luxury as civil servants. How to expect them to the sufferings down below.

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  • Asd:

    What you expecting when minister tell you go JB hospice is cheaper.. you don’t even deserve to die in your own motherland.. so what more do you want ?

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  • Godzilla:

    The Clown and his stooges have never dared to talk about cost of living issues.

    EVERYTHING cannot but once they lose a few GRCs, then can can.

    The government should offer free bus rides for all elderly above 60.

    In some countries this is being practised.

    In Klang (Msia), public transport is free FOR ALL to ease the COL.

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  • Character & Crony-Capitalism:

    “If we have to choose one word to characterize Confucian ethics, that word would have to be HUMANITY. The main concern of Confucian ethics is the whole process of learning to be human. This process involves a total commitment, a continuous effort of self-refinement or self-improvement and a holistic vision of the entire project of MORAL EDUCATION.

    There is no question that each living creature possesses a divine spark of God; all of us, animals included, are God’s creatures. God is life and life is God. Every living creature, as a child of God, is of the highest importance, therefore….I am greatly saddened by the blatant disregard for life I see every day. If man were taught to treat each human being and animal with the love and respect that is accorded to God, the Creator of all things, then perhaps we would not see the shameful neglect of life – murders, wars, slaughters and rapes-that has characterized all of human history. My firm belief is that if we don’t Respect and Love and even Worship Life, then we don’t respect and Love God.”

    - TU WEI MING, Chair Professor of Humanities and Founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University. He is also Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow of Asia Center at Harvard University.

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  • Eric:

    Wtf!! If we having budget deficit every year, then I have nothing more to say. But we have tons and tons of revenue from indirect taxes resulting from GST increases etc etc, through tax payers handouts. The government infact can easily fund any schemes to help the poor and needy and any one in dire need of financial assistance or lowering health cost, providing free education and scholarships to tru blue deserving singaporeans based on meritocrity etc etc.
    Without more Opposition elected in parliament, unpopuloar policies cannot be overturned. Now this coming Ekections, pl vote without fear for yourselves and your generations.
    Merdeka Singapura!!

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  • James Lee:

    The situation on the ground is much worse than what was deliberated!!
    If the 4G leaders are really sincere about helping these PGs and MGs,then the government of the day should without further delays implement the following:-

    1) Provide unconditionally free basic Hospitalisation and health care to all senior citizens above 65 years of age.

    2)Boost the living standard of all seniors by giving them a monthly payment of S$500/=

    3)Provide free passport to all senior citizens.

    Please do the needful to help redress the pathetic situation facing the elderly Singaporeans.

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    Mr Yeoh suggests that the WIS be increased by about $500-$600 in cash.

    Dear Readers,
    Both Roy and Yeoh are lunatic person. Seow in Hokkien and gila in malayu.

    If increased the WIS by $500 – $600, these old folks will squander away the money on beers, woman etc.

    To prevent the old folks from squandering away the money, we must not give Singaporeans more.

    Calling on all Singaporeans, vote PAP to give PAP more salaries and bonuses to PAP otherwise PAP will corrupt like Najib and 蔡英文。

    Najib’s Corruption:



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  • Don't be Green Goblins:

    “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done… Real living is living for others.”

    - Bruce Lee

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  • Salute fr pioneer:

    People like Roy he sufferedalot and exiled in Taiwan; he need not bothered but still does abtspore; really we should salute him

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    I think it is extremely rude to massacre a person’s name. As far I know Yeoh Lam Keong is Yeoh Lam Keong and NOT Lam Yeoh Keong. If you can’t write properly, don’t.

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  • Harder Truths:

    ‘Affordable’ is a monetary condition, not a reflection of empathy or compassion. Don’t think one automatically allows for the other.

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  • Went to Japan:

    70% feels this is ok and they love PAP.

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  • You have no say.:

    Please dont kpkb.

    Please learn from huawei.


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  • WakeupSG:

    Because the PAP government fails to do their PART, the poor continues to remain TRAP (PART spell backwards) in their poverty!

    VTO at the coming election!

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  • Salute to Roy:

    Roy has his heart in the right place.
    But he did not have the right data.

    And he fell into a trap at hong lim park.

    Had Roy been provided with concrete data, his criticisms would have more weight.

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  • Realistically:

    Let me state that I had made a small monetary contribution to Roy Ngerng when he was sued by PM Lee for defamation.

    I endorse what Roy has posted above based on the facts given by Mr Yeoh Lam Keong. I also agree with Yeoh.

    However, the REAL ISSUE has not been addressed as to why the PAPies have not done much more for the less fortunate segment of society.

    People should think carefully why the oppos have failed to gain traction with the voting public………….I had been telling oppies election after election previously and continue to do so now.

    Understand what I post instead of taking offence as if I don’t supported more effective assistance to the under-class.

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  • Greater mortals no less:

    Don’t steal, don’t lie and don’t cheat. The government hates competition. And what’s the difference between an aristocratic politician and a catfish? One is a bottom-dwelling scum-sucker, and the other one is a fish.

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  • Do more for the elderly poor:

    We need to do more for the elderly poor.
    Look at the pitiful stage many are in.
    A monthly cash allowance of $600 will help them to survive with some dignity.
    Maybe more medical subsidy will help also.

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  • Longan Lee:

    Unfortunately, only a small number of citizens have the intellectual sophistication enough to know the many ways Singapore can be much better if PAP is pressured by more Opposition in parliament. Too many are Ostriches and the three monkeys of See , Hear, Speak no evils.

    Just a fart frightens them and they surrender on all fours.

    This is why there has been no change to status quo. Idiots do not know that voting for the same status quo perpetuates and aggravates the situation and will not speed up REFORMS.

    We are surrounded by too many Ostriches.

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