watch the video here]. If low income families find it hard to get help, middle income families will not get anything...these days with means testing, the last bit of subsidiy for special schools was removed for parents of these children.
These parents face enormous hardship caring for their children when they are alive - its a labor of love but very tough financially and emotionally. Concerned that nobody can care for their children properly when they are gone, they went to went to ask the govt for help. Perhaps they were hoping the govt set up good facilities and institutions where they can feel safe to leave their children when they are no longer around - since they have already spent their lifetime caring for their child. These caregivers know how tough it has been for them so they find it hard to ask relatives or siblings to do this when they are no longer around and some of them have nobody to turn to.
The govt response to the problem is this : while the parents a alive and working, set aside a part of their CPF (their own money) in a new Special Needs Savings Scheme. CPF will help to disburse this as a monthly instalment when the parents are no longer around. The Straits Times headlins for the article is "More CPF protection for children with special needs""
"The CPF Board is stepping in to help provide a measure of financial security for children with special needs, when their parents are no longer aaround to care for them" - Straits Times 22 Nov 2011.
All the govt is doing is administer some of your own CPF money to make out monthly instalments - thats all! Quite incredibly the article starts off saying the CPF Board "is stepping in to help provide a measure of financial security" as if the CPF is giving money to the child. What security is there for lower income parents who don't even have enough for themselves to retire?
To say the govt has fallen short and failed these parents is an understatement. In every developed country today, the govt get involved early to full support to parents because they are in such a tough situation. Here the parents have to make huge sacrifices when they are alive yet the govt is only willing to play administors to lock up their CPF funds in a special account and give it out in instalments.
There are very few Singaporeans who would oppose the govt doing more for these parents. The only people stopping the PAP from doing more is the PAP govt itself and its ideological preference not to help. This is a govt with the means to do it - it can give thousands of scholarships to school the children of foreigners but cannot do something for these children of men who served their NS.