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Multiple layers of support to ensure no one is left behind
PUBLISHED ON 02 Nov 2018
The Government will continue to take active steps to address income inequality and social stratification through adjustments in its policies and to respond to changing circumstances and needs, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in a paper.

The MSF emphasised that the Government’s sustained efforts have worked well for low-income and vulnerable families – with more families owning their own homes and more students progressing to tertiary education.

Here are highlights:

Education

Efforts
  • Improved accessibility, affordability and quality of pre-school education
  • Broad-based subsidies for all educational levels
  • Targeted assistance such as MOE Bursaries and MOE Financial Assistance Scheme
  • SkillsFuture to support lifelong learning
Outcome
  • Over 90% of Singaporean children, aged 5 to 6 years, are enrolled in preschool
  • 90% of students in the lower income group progress to post-secondary education, compared to 50% from 15 years ago
Future plans
  • Increase the number of MOE kindergartens to about 50 by 2023
  • PSLE T-score will be replaced with wider Achievement Levels in 2021
  • MOE-led taskforce known as UPLIFT to better support students from disadvantaged families
Homes

Efforts
  • Subsidies for public housing
  • Public Rental Scheme for families with no other housing options
  • Fresh Start Housing Scheme to help families living in public rental flats own homes
Outcome
  • 87% of Singaporeans in the low-income group owned their own homes
  • Requests for public rental housing fell by 44% between 2013 and 2017
Future plans
  • Help for rental families to plan for home ownership
  • Divorcees can buy or own a subsidised flat
Income Growth

Efforts
  • Adapt and Grow initiatives to help jobseekers
  • Progressive Wage Model to uplift workers’ wages in specific sectors
  • More support for older low-wage Singaporeans through Workfare Income Supplement
Outcome
  • Progressive Wage Models have led to wage growth for more than 70,000 resident workers
  • From 2012 to 2017, middle to low income households enjoyed higher income growth
Future plans
  • Enhanced Place-and-Train programme to support mid-career jobseekers and unemployed
  • Manpower Ministry will work to extend the Progressive Wage Model to more sectors
Healthcare

Efforts
  • Subsidised healthcare, including Intermediate and Long-Term Care subsidies
  • Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS)
  • MediShield Life and CareShield Life premium subsidies
  • MediFund for low-income patients who require further help with their remaining bills
  • Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation Packages (to be announced)
Outcome
  • Singapore’s service coverage better than developed countries
  • Highly-subsidised care is accessible to all Singaporeans, including the lower-income
Future plans
  • CareShield Life - subsidies for low to middle-income households in 2020
  • MediSave - withdrawals allowed for long-term care
  • CHAS - extended to all Singaporeans with chronic conditions, regardless of income

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