Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

> The MSF website may undergo scheduled maintenance every Tues, Fri and Sun, from 12am to 9am.
> If you suspect that you have received a scam call or message, please call the Anti-Scam Hotline at 1800 722 6688 or submit a report online at the Singapore Police Force website.
> View the latest Safe Management Measures for weddings, other COVID-19 advisories or COVID-19 FAQs (for support schemes, etc).

Singapore Government

Clarifications on Comcare trends

Clarifications on Comcare trends

Published On
08 May 2017

8 May 2017


Dr Lim Wee Kiak

MP for Sembawang GRC

To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what is the reason for the increasing number of families receiving ComCare help particularly among senior citizens when mean wages and household income have been increasing; (b) whether this trend indicates widening income gaps; and c) what measures can be taken to address this trend.


Over the last few years, MSF has enhanced the coverage and accessibility of ComCare assistance to help households in need. We have set up the network of 24 Social Service Offices (SSOs) island-wide. We have also revised the income criteria of our help schemes. With these enhancements, more low-income families have benefited from ComCare assistance.

At the same time, the demographic profile in Singapore has been changing, with trends such as smaller families, rising number of single-person households and ageing population observed. These factors affect the ability of some families to cope, and they may require temporary financial assistance to address their needs.

The increasing number of households on ComCare assistance does not necessarily indicate a widening income gap. Over the last five years, the Gini Coefficient remained relatively stable, at 0.473 in 2011 and 0.458 in 2016. The Government has also provided additional transfers such as Silver Support and Medishield Life premium subsidies to help lower-income Singaporeans. This is reflected in the lower Gini Coefficient of 0.402 in 2016 after Government taxes and transfers.

Our SSOs work closely with FSCs, other government agencies and community partners to provide holistic support. For example, our SSOs partner Workforce Singapore (WSG) and the Employment and Employability Institute (e2i) to provide the client with employment assistance to improve his or her employability and secure stable employment. Seniors in need can also benefit from government-funded social services such as Senior Activity Centres, befriending and counselling services. The Silver Support Scheme under the Manpower Ministry provides an income supplement to seniors who had low incomes through life and who now have little or no family support.

Beyond ComCare, we are also expanding upstream intervention to strengthen the resilience of vulnerable families and their children to set a good foundation. This includes supporting vulnerable children in their early years, encouraging work and helping workers level up their skills. We also recognise the importance of financial planning for the low-income, and will continue to review efforts for this group.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter More...

Related Media Room Items

  • Higher Assistance Rates For Comcare Households

    ​The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will increase the amount of assistance for lower-income households on the ComCare Long-Term Assistance (LTA) and Short-to-Medium-Term Assistance (SMTA) schemes from 1 August 2022. This is part of the support package introduced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong to provide support to households, individuals and businesses, in view of inflationary pressures caused by external factors.

  • Speech by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minster for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for Health at the Financial Capability and Asset Building Event

    ​Address by Minister Masagos Zulkifli at the "Financial Capability and Asset Building Initiative: Maximising Potential, Empowering Communities" Event.

  • Closure of The Courage Fund Relief Schemes

    ​Following the adjustment in Singapore's Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON) status on 26 April 2022, and extensive easing of community and border measures, MSF and NCSS have reviewed and will close all TCF COVID-19 relief schemes with immediate effect. Those who had been certified as COVID-positive before 24 May 2022 can still apply.