ComCare: No more “how many assisted on 31 Mar”?

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By: Leong Sze Hian

$130m given to 87,000 beneficiaries under ComCare

I refer to the article “$130m given to 87,000 beneficiaries under ComCare” (Straits Times, Dec 9). It states:

“Government ComCare schemes helped some 87,000 beneficiaries, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said on Friday (Dec 9). A total of $130 million was distributed, a 10 per cent increase from last year, said MSF.

1These figures and other trends were published in the ComCare Annual Report and Trends Report on Friday.  The number of households on short-to-medium term assistance, which makes up the majority of those under ComCare, has increased.

There were 29,511 households in FY2015, an increase of 7 per cent over FY2014’s 27,461. Those on long-term assistance increased by 10 per cent, from 3,846 to 4,248.”

I also refer to the ComCare Annual Report and Trends Report released on 9 December.

Short-to-Medium Term (SMTA) Assistance increased 109% from FY2011 to FY2015

The number of households assisted under the ComCare Short-to-Medium Term (SMTA) Assistance scheme increased from 14,087 in FY2011 to 29,511 in FY2015 – an increase of 109 per cent.

Average assistance of $2,978?

Since $87.88 million was disbursed in FY2015 – does it mean that the average assistance was about $2,978 ($87.88 million divided by 29,511 households) per household?

FY2012 report says 10,546 households

According the the ComCare Annual Report FY2012 – 6,123 households received ComCare Short Term assistance as at 31 March, 2013 and $24.45 million was disbursed in FY2012.

And 4,423 households received ComCare Medium Term assistance as at 31 March, 2013 and $17.4 million was disbursed in FY2012.

Does the above mean that the average assistance was about $3,993 ($24.45 million divided by 6,123 households) and $3,934 ($17.4 million divided by 4,423) for Short Term and Medium Term, respectively?

Change in reporting format in FY2013

There seems to have been a change in the reporting format in FY2013, whereby in addition to the ComCare Annual Report FY2013‘s 12,387 households (6,867 Short Term + 5,520 Medium Term) as at 31 March 2014 – it also shows 25,956 households assisted in FY2013.

And then from the ComCare Annual Report FY2014 onwards – the narrative seems to only show and focus on the number of households assisted, without the statistics for “households assisted as at 31 March” (of the year).

No more statistics on how many getting assistance on 31 March?

In other words, people may only read about how many were assisted during the year, rather than also about how many were getting assistance as at 31 March of the year?