A report in The Straits Times today looks at the impact of the coronavirus crisis on low-income families in Singapore:
Adam’s situation is not unique. Many of some 300,000 Singapore residents who earn below $2,000 have seen sudden dips in their income during the pandemic, especially after new measures on April 7 restricted businesses deemed non-essential, among other things.
Beyond Social Services helped 84 families financially in the whole of last month. But just five days into the circuit breaker, it received 123 applications for such help.
The charity contacted 300 families it is helping, and three in four said they needed more financial aid.
Dr Ng Kok Hoe, senior research fellow at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said the “stark policy lesson” is that cracks that are present in normal times will only widen during a crisis. “Problems with food security among poor households, educational inequality, overcrowded housing in the public rental scheme, inadequate social security outside the wage economy… these are the challenges we must tackle with more resolve when the crisis lifts.”– Coronavirus: Families scraping by in tougher spot now
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