Acting Social and Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing says Budget extends help to middle-income group

Acting Social and Family Development Minister Chan Chun Sing said the government has made a slight shift this year in its Budget to extend help to the middle-income group.

He said in the past, the government tended to focus a lot of attention on the bottom 20 percentile.

"The Wage Credit Scheme is a good example. We literally took the whole surplus from the previous year and passed it on to the workers. And when we set the qualifying criteria at $4,000 per worker, what it means is that actually it has gone past the median workers' salary, which means that more than 50 per cent of our workers will benefit from this scheme. So within the means available, we will try as much as we can to take care of not just the most needy members of our society but also those that we generally term as middle-class or some of them termed as sandwiched class.  But the most important thing is that we can only do this if the pie continues to grow, and we have a bountiful harvest to share amongst Singaporeans."

Mr Chan was speaking to reporters after the recording of a Chinese Budget Forum organised by MediaCorp.

Joining Mr Chan on the panel were representatives from social services, business associations and grassroots organisations.

On the panel with Mr Chan are:

Mr Ang Hin Kee, MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC,

Mr Thomas Chua, the vice president of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Mr Leng Chin Fei, director of Fei Yue Community Services and Family Service Centre

and Mr Lim Lee Meng, a senior partner of a public accounting firm and grassroots leader.

They were joined by 20 guests from diversed backgrounds, such as preschool education and SMEs.

They also took part in the discussion and polls related to the Budget announcements.

The Chinese Budget Forum will be telecast on MediaCorp's Channel 8 on Thursday (28 February) at 10.30pm.