Has the Government done enough for the poor?

Editors’ Note: I look at the figure, my doubts are:
  • How much of the $500m really reaches the really poor ones and the “deserving” ones? Are the money well manage? I recall out of $1 donation to the old NKF, less than $0.15 goes to the kidney patients. My bet is $100m or much less actually are spent on the people who fall through the cracks.
  • The amount seems small when compared to S$700 million to S$800 million spent on baby bonuses which have proven ineffective to stop the downtrend of procreation. A rethink perhaps?
  • Do they include the salaries of the ministry staff and grants given to NGOs? do they include the Ang Paos and many social events attended by MPs and ministers?
  • The amount looks small compared to the S$3.4 billion of the “Growth and Share” package. Can much be done to teach them how to fish than give them the fishes?
  • To put it in perspective, we spend billions of dollars on NRF, 2 billion on air hub, 2 billion on subsidising NBN, few billions on Garden by the Bay, 8.5 billion on workfare and medical topup (complete waste of money), 2 billion on baby bonus (assuming 30000 babies annually, average $6000 bonus per child, over 10years, another ineffective policy and waste of precious tax dollars)  few billions here, few billions there, and if my hunch is correct (and only $100m or less really reaches the needy and are courtesy of the Government), $1b over 10 years, that is really a big peanut!
Read also:
Most money from MCYS goes to families: Minister Balakrishnan
Source: todayonline.com May 03, 2011
SINGAPORE – He has been accused of being stingy about helping Singaporeans, particularly the less well off. Yesterday, Community Development, Youth and Sports Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told the Opposition: Look at the figures.

Speaking last night at the People’s Action Party rally in Bukit Panjang, the minister pointed out that the group on which his ministry spends the most was families.

Out of a budget of S$1.9 billion, S$700 million to S$800 million is spent on baby bonuses, childcare and various subsidies. While, S$500 million goes to helping lower-income earners and the disadvantaged, said Dr Balakrishnan.

Compared to those living in the United States or United Kingdom, Singaporeans are better off, he told the audience at the rally.

It was his first rally speech and comes a day after his Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) opponent Michelle Lee took aim at his ministry’s spending in her rally speech.

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My favourite quote today

"I am afraid the cruise ship is over capacity limit, and it used to be a luxury cruise ship. The designer’s claim that it is not sinkable, the name is Titanic. There are not enough life boats, no preparation or provision for failure. Thank you Mr Goh for reminding us." - Low Thia Khiang

"Till today, I am still puzzled by why the PAP cannot fight a fair election without gerrymandering, abusing the GRC system, basically, making sure they enter into a boxing ring with an opponent who is expected to fight them with hands tied behind the back. There is a reason why bullies are not popular in schools. Why not be the school prefect?" - Alvinology

"The question to ask is what lies at the root of the discontent or the disengagement between the G and the people. I am going to stick my neck out and say that it is ministerial salaries. I consider it the root of all evil. Serious. It reduces what should be a social compact into a business contract. " - Bertha Henson