The Haze: Shouldn't Govt help to subsidise additional utility costs?

File photo of the haze on 23 June 2013 outside Marina Bay Sands

SINGAPORE - With the air quality in Singapore at unhealthy or hazardous levels, the authorities have been reminding us to stay indoors.

This means turning on the air-conditioner more than usual.

But nothing much has been said so far about the families affected getting any utility subsidies or help to ease the burden of higher bills.

My wife is on maternity leave and is staying home to take care of our newborn. And when the PSI was high last week, we decided to keep our elder son at home rather than send him to childcare.

We had no choice but to turn on the air-conditioning round the clock to provide ourselves with better air quality.

I'm sure that many families in Singapore have been doing the same.

Shouldn't the Government help to at least subsidise the additional cost, considering that this is a national crisis?

All the talk about sending messages to the Indonesian government isn't directly helping us.

What we need is immediate and direct assistance from our Government.

And shouldn't the Government be prepared for such situations? This is not the first time we have encountered the haze. The Sars outbreak a decade ago had also taught us that face masks are a necessity in such a crisis. So how come we had a shortage of masks?

I hope the Government will consider absorbing the additional utility costs and provide free N95 masks to the people.

Reader Jay Tay

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