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Singapore Budget Reaction: PAP Seniors Group seeks clearer implementation plans

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The PAP Seniors Group (PAP SG) on Wednesday welcomed the Singapore Budget 2015 but sought clearer roll-out plans for seniors.

The PAP Seniors Group (PAP SG) on Wednesday welcomed the Singapore Budget 2015 but sought clearer roll-out plans for seniors.

The group, an advocacy group which aims to raise issues to help shape policies affecting seniors, suggested that agencies should consider waiving the 10 per cent fee for individual-directed learning for those facing financial difficulty.

Chaired by Halimah Yacob, PAP SG said a special category for older workers should be created under the new SkillsFuture Study Awards and Fellowship to send a strong signal that age is no impediment to winning awards and learning new skills.

It also sought better career counselling for older workers: "Many are stuck in mid career not knowing what to do or how to progress further or where to look for new opportunities. However, to be more effective this service will have to be properly resourced with experienced staff who have timely and relevant labour market information and can provide effective guidance.''

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The group, which was formed on Dec 8, 2013 at the PAP Party Convention, is also pushing for the new Silver Support Scheme to be flexible, simple and paid directly into bank accounts of seniors on a monthly basis. The Silver Support Scheme aims to help the bottom 20 per cent of Singaporeans aged 65 and above, providing between S$300 and S$750 in payouts every quarter.

In light of the numerous measures unveiled by the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at this year's Budget Statement on Monday, the group is suggesting the publication of a comprehensive information kit covering all areas from healthcare, employment, retirement adequacy to housing that will benefit the elderly.

"We suggest that the different agencies put all these information in one information kit, to better communicate with older Singaporeans so that they can get a more complete picture of how their welfare is being taken care of.''

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