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TNP takes down article on family who are “suffering” despite earning 5-figure income after public outrage

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The New Paper appears to have taken down an article featuring a family of five who are hoping for more financial help from the upcoming Budget 2018, after netizens took issue with the fact that the purportedly middle-class family describe that they are “suffering” even though they draw a 5-figure income, monthly.

The article, entitled ‘Middle income family hopes for more help from Budget 2018’, described the family as “struggling to make ends meet” and quoted Serene Lee – the mother in the family – as saying, “There are many middle-income families like us who are suffering despite seeming to make enough.”

The article was published on Monday, 12 Feb

Lee said that her husband earns a 5-figure salary each month and that she, too, works a part time job although she did not disclose how much she earns.

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Lee explained that their income is “spread thin” due to their financial commitments, which include paying for their eldest child’s $1,800 polytechnic tuition fee each semester and paying for Lee’s life-long medication, following a heart transplant. which costs about $2,000 after subsidies each year. Her medication actually amounts to about $9,000 to be paid every six months but she only pays over a thousand dollars every six months due to subsidies.

Besides other bills, Lee pays $300-$400 annually for her daughter’s sailing extracurricular activity and has also employed a domestic helper.

Hoping to send her primary school-going daughter to private tuition so she could catch up with her peers, Lee wishes for a higher income cap for financial assistance and subsidies for larger families, along with additional Edusave allowance for her children, from Budget 2018.

She added: “Specific sports CCAs cost more, and as parents we want to support our kid’s interests too, and if the school offers it, then cost should not be a barrier…”

Instead of garnering sympathy, Lee’s comments were met with widespread hostility from netizens who found that they could not relate to her woes:

The public outrage was perhaps so intense that TNP took down the article from Facebook and made the article private on their website:

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