OPINION: Chan Chun Sing resorts to contortion and misrepresentation to avoid engagement on poverty line

Yawningbread.wordpress.com, 26 Oct 2013
Look carefully at Yee’s question. He was suggesting that having an official poverty line would do two things: identify at-risk households and provide a convenient longitudinal gauge of the effectiveness of policy intervention. He did not say that a poverty line is all that is needed to “fully reflect the severity and complexity of the issues”, nor did he suggest that “those below the poverty line receive all forms of assistance, while other genuinely needy citizens outside the poverty line are excluded.”
Chan Chun Sing twisted the question into this form in order to knock down the idea. This is not engagement. It is contortion and misrepresentation in order to avoid engagement.
A good government will always have a multiplicity of help schemes for the poor and underprivileged. Each help scheme will have its own set of eligibility and means-testing criteria, simply because each help scheme seeks to address a specific need. But precisely because there’s a multiplicity of programmes, each with varying criteria, it becomes too complex for the public to have an easy grasp of whether we’re moving forwards or backwards. Full story
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