Singapore is a country which has a progressive social system where support is given to all the citizens, particularly those with greater need. This was the crux of the statement delivered by Senior Minister of State for Finance Indranee Rajah during the Committee of Supply debate session in Parliament.
She said, “Social schemes are guided by key principles such as its objectives, having a fair and progressive design, as well as sustainability.”
Replying to the question of MP Randolph Tan regarding whether social schemes can be made more targeted, the Senior Minister said, “There are schemes in place with different objectives to support Singaporeans in different circumstances and with different needs. There is Government's approach to provide gradated tiers of support so that every Singaporean can benefit from social schemes in one way or another."
Speaking about the various welfare schemes, Indranee cited example of SkillsFuture Credit and the Pioneer Generation Package as schemes that support strategic objectives and cover all Singaporeans, regardless of income or wealth. Other targeted schemes include the Ministry of Education’s Financial Assistance Scheme, the Workfare Income Supplement and the Silver Support Scheme.
She added, “If we put together all our different social schemes, we have a progressive social system where support is extended to all, but those with greater need receive more. By careful design, we can have a system that is sustainable."
She concluded, “Singapore has been able to achieve good social outcomes in areas such as home-ownership, education and healthcare. While the Government will continue to improve social programmes and schemes to foster a caring and inclusive society, it cannot do it alone.”