8 May 2017
Mr Sitoh Yih Pin
MP for Potong Pasir
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development whether the Ministry plans to assist lower-income Singaporean families to cope with the high cost of infant formula on a permanent basis either through the expansion of, or in addition to, schemes like the NTUC Fairprice Foundation-CDC Milk Fund that was recently launched.
Mr Low Thia Khiang
MP for Aljunied GRC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development whether there are plans to provide sustained help to low-income families to assist them in defraying the cost of buying infant formula over the longer term.
Families may tap on the Baby Bonus Cash Gift to defray their child-raising costs. Parents with a Singapore citizen child born on or after 1 Jan 2015 will receive $8,000 for the first and second child, and $10,000 for the third and subsequent child. These amounts include the Baby Bonus Plus of $2,000, which was introduced in 2015. The Baby Bonus Cash Gift is disbursed in 5 instalments over 18 months following the child's birth, providing parents with sustained support during the child's infancy.
We acknowledge community efforts, such as the NTUC FairPrice Foundation-CDC Milk Fund, to assist families. Vulnerable, low-income families who face difficulties coping with their daily living expenses can approach their nearest Social Service Office (SSO) to apply for ComCare Short-to-Medium Term Assistance.
The SSO will conduct a needs assessment and families may receive a monthly cash grant to assist with their basic needs. The cash assistance will take into account the costs of infant formula milk, in the case of vulnerable families with infants. We will continue to monitor the cost of infant formula milk and review our social assistance schemes as needed.