visited a family which applied for financial assistance.
1. couple, both in their early 60s
3. living in rented 2 room unit
4. both not working, reason cited as 'health problems'
5. living on subsidy of $65/month + rations from a nearby church
this is the 2nd family i visited and so far its the 'poorer' as they don't have tv, no telephone, which are regarded as basic necessities for many in singapore. most surprising to me is how they managed to survive in a high cost singapore at only $65/month!
during the conversation i can see that the couple is really interested in seeking help, and very much i'll hope that i can do a little bit on my part. however, the couple looks healthy and they did not cite major health issues except for occassional stomach upset and pain in the legs. when encouraged to find part time / home bound jobs, they are very reluctant and kept on brushing the idea away by blaming the bad economy now and their 'health problems.
as what my co-worker says is correct: some are just reluctant to work despite being abled bodies, and they would rather live on subsides. there is even a story that one middle aged man who refused to work because he will lose his subsidy if he is found to be working!
while i puke at the idea of minimal social assistance in singapore, i applause this policy on the other hand as there are really such people around!