Base Workfare payouts on per capita household income

Base Workfare payouts on per capita household income
Madam Lucy Loh signing up for the Workfare Bonus Scheme back in 2006.

For a more equitable distribution of the Workfare Income Supplement, the Central Provident Fund Board could consider using per capita household income as a criterion (“No payouts for some with tighter Workfare criteria”; June 30).

Take the case of a man who earns less than S$1,900 per month, but whose spouse has an assessable income of more than S$70,000 a year (disqualifying him from Workfare).

They live with their elderly parents and three children, so their per capita household income would work out to about S$1,100 a month, yet the family is not eligible for Workfare.

Compare this with another man who also earns less than S$1,900, but whose spouse’s assessable income is less than S$70,000 a year (qualifying him for Workfare). They have no parents or children, and their per capita income would be close to S$4,000, yet they qualify for Workfare.

Having a spouse whose yearly assessable income exceeds S$70,000 does not mean the family is not in need of help. The Government has to review how Workfare is distributed.

-Francis Cheng

This article was first published on July 11, 2014.
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