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Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower & Senior Minister of State, National Development, to Parliamentary Question on Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) Scheme

Mr Gan Thiam Poh: To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry can review the Workfare Income Supplement to include the lower middle income group and increase the amount of payout to all qualified workers.

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin:
  1. The Workfare Income Supplement (WIS) scheme targets full-time income earners in the bottom 20% but the benefits are extended (at reducing rates) to cover earners up to around the 30th percentile. This ensures that a worker’s WIS payouts would not decrease too quickly as he upgrades his skills and earns more. 
  2. MOM will be reviewing WIS in 2013. In the review, we will take into account changes in income levels and inflation, bearing in mind that the level of assistance should be meaningful while still encouraging individual effort and responsibility. WIS is a permanent social transfer mechanism which should be targeted at those who need it most.