Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied): In January, the MSF announced an expansion of the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund (SMF) as well as the Assistive Technology Fund (ATF). Amongst others, the existing schemes will be extended to support seniors and the disabled over a longer period of time and to cover a wider range of assistive devices. What new assistive devices has the Ministry noted a high demand for and that were not covered under the previous regime? Separately, which top five items does it project to have high subsidy utilisation up to 2030 under both the SMF and the ATF?
In 2019, the Minister for Social and Family Development shared that 2,037 persons with disabilities had benefited from ATF, a steady increase from 2016 and 2017. Since then, over the last three years, how many individuals have sought assistance at each subsidy tier?
The new items covered under the enhanced scheme have not been fully stated in the January announcement. There are common examples, but I ask that MSF consider the release of the full range of items that are eligible for subsidised purchase under the new scheme for better public utilisation of both funds.
Annex B of the MSF January press release contains a noteworthy footnote. It says that the enhancements to the ATF will only apply the Singapore Citizens while there will be no changes to benefits for PRs. There does not seem to be any publicly available information on the dollar amount of subsidies provided to Singaporeans and PRs respectively under the ATF before the latest update to the scheme. Would the Ministry be able to provide a breakdown between Singaporeans and PRs from SMF and ATF utilisation, in dollar terms, since each fund was launched?
Ministry of Social and Family Development
9 March 2022