7 children, but no ‘cash’ assistance?


What exactly is the criteria for giving ‘cash’ assistance to very large low-income families?

I refer to the article “Raising 7 children on under S$3,000 a month in Singapore” (Channel NewsAsia, Jun 24).

It states that “A secondary school teacher for a decade, she quit after her fifth child, Arielle, was born in 2011.

Raising their children on just one breadwinner’s salary, however, has not been easy.OTRD full house hengs 4

Their monthly expenses amount to about S$3,000, which means there is nothing left to set aside as savings from Mr Heng’s income as a social service worker.

His parents help out, and the family receives assistance from the Social Service Office with things like the conservancy charges for their five-room Housing and Development Board flat. Their children are under the Education Ministry’s Financial Assistance Scheme, and the family can tap the Community Health Assist Scheme for their medical bills.

Sometimes, Mr Heng also gets a “love offering” from his church friends. “They’d drop by and bless us with groceries or even bless the children with tickets to Universal Studios,” he said. His church has gifted them with staycations and trips to Malaysia.

And “that’s how we’ve been living our lives for the last 11 years”, he said, since he left the army to work in social service.

One piece of good news he shared with them: He’d be returning to a full-time job, with regular hours and better pay than the S$2,600 he used to get.”

So, does this mean that this family with seven young children, did not receive ‘cash’ assistance, despite a household income of only $2,600?

Uniquely Singapore!

Leong Sze Hian

About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.