Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Improve the means tested scheme

2 February 2012 

Eidtor, Forum Page
Straits Times

A panel of Member of Parliaments have the Government
to refine its means testing to make them more equitable and

This testing is now used for large scale transfer schemes, such 
as GST Voucher and Central Provide Fund top-ups. Currently, 
they are based on assessable income and annual value of 

There has been many complaints from retirees who have 
insufficient income but now live in property with annual values that
exceed the thresholds. 

As means testing is going to be used quite often, the Government
should take the additional step of keeping a record of people
who fall within the test.  The people who qualify could fall within
the currently used criteria. 

Those who fall outside the criteria and do not have adequate income
can apply to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If approved, their
record can be updated to allow them to be entitled to the financial 

At a later date, applicants can apply for a "means tested card" that can 
be used to access other benefits, such as health care or transport.

Tan Kin Lian

1 comment:

Spur said...

Means testing for C class wards in hospitals is based on (1) your income, and if you're not working then (2) your home.

Many retirees are caught, as they are no longer working, but are staying in 40-year old terrace houses, semi-Ds etc. Many are not cash rich and get by on less than $800 a month.

Quite a number of older retirees have tried to go around the system by declaring a small income e.g. $6,000 per annum, to IRAS saying they give tuition, consulting etc.

They then use this income tax return to qualify for full C class subsidies.

These old folks are not hard up for things like GST voucher or Progress Package etc (which they won't get anyway as the "means testing" for such things are stricter). Rather, they are more worried about the high medical costs and the medical inflation of 6%-8% per annum.

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