More qualify for CDAC schemes

RELIEF: The relaxed criteria means Mr Ho Chun Chew can now send his kids for subsidised tuition classes.

OVER a thousand more beneficiaries - including students and families - will be able to apply for the Chinese Development Assistance Council's (CDAC's) programmes from next month.

This follows a relaxation in the programmes' income eligibility criteria.

The move is to ensure that Chinese Singaporeans and permanent residents who are in the lowest 20 per cent income group here will continue to receive help, such as tuition subsidies for students, training subsidies for workers and financial grants for families.

Currently, CDAC has over 18,000 beneficiaries.

Ms Grace Fu, chairman of CDAC's community outreach and co-ownership committee, said yesterday that the income eligibility criteria will be raised to a monthly household income of not more than $3,000, or a monthly per capita income of not more than $800.

Previously, this was capped at a monthly household income of not more than $2,700, or a monthly per capita income of not more than $700.

Ms Fu - who is also Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts, and for the Environment and Water Resources - was speaking to the media at the Family Get Together event held at the CDAC building in Katong.

The revision was made after a report, released in February by the Department of Statistics, found that the average monthly household income for the lowest 20 per cent income group increased from $2,940 in 2010 to $3,135 last year.

The report also found that the average monthly per capita income for the lowest 10 per cent income earners rose from $381 in 2010 to $422 last year.

In response, CDAC adjusted the income eligibility criteria of its programmes and assistance schemes for the lowest 10 per cent income group as well.

Applicants can now apply for such schemes as long as their monthly per capita income does not exceed $450, or if their monthly household income is not more than $1,500.

The previous monthly per capita income ceiling for such schemes was $375.

Besides helping new beneficiaries, approximately 400 students already in the programmes will be able to receive higher subsidies for tuition and enrichment classes.

CDAC estimates that it will spend about $600,000 more on its programmes this year.

For 52-year-old lorry driver Ho Chun Chew, the relaxed criteria means he can now send his two kids for subsidised tuition classes at CDAC, where previously he could not.

"My wife and I are unable to help our children with their schoolwork, so it is important for them to attend tuition."

shong@sph.com.sg


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