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A 'Caring Society' must provide more for those with less: Govt

The Government today (May 20) released details expanding on the theme of building a “Caring Society” outlined by President Tony Tan Keng Yam in Parliament last week.

SINGAPORE: The Government today (May 20) released details expanding on the theme of building a “Caring Society” outlined by President Tony Tan Keng Yam in his address as Parliament reopened last Friday.

In an addenda statement issued today, the Government said that strengthening social safety nets will be a key area of focus for policymakers. “Our philosophy is upstream prevention, providing more for those with less and sharing the risks of life’s uncertainties so that no one has to deal with his problems alone,” it said.

For the low-income and vulnerable, the Ministry of Manpower will enhance support for training, job upgrading and career progression through initiatives such as the Workfare Training Support Scheme and the Progressive Wage Model in some sectors.

The ministry will also step up enforcement and promotion efforts to protect low-wage workers’ basic employment rights, CPF contributions and well-being.

The Ministry of Communications and Information will establish a digital inclusion fund to ensure that as many Singaporeans as possible can access more media platforms and e-government services, the statement said. Subtitles will also be required for all free-to-air content on TV, to benefit the deaf and elderly.

Support and funding for the social services sector will also be ramped up. Social Service Net - "an integrated information-sharing and case management system to provide more timely and seamless assistance" - will be rolled out by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, while 20 Social Service Offices will be completed by the end of next year to bring social assistance closer to residents.

In an effort to promote a nationwide spirit of giving, the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth plans to work with community welfare organisations to encourage businesses to give back to society and expand volunteering opportunities for the public. It is also looking into ways to better respond to disputes between neighbours.

“Underlying this is the spirit of a caring society, where we care for one another and share the fruits of progress with all,” the Government said.

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