Photo of Singapore MBS from AFP

In the latest statistics provided by the Ministry of Social and Family Affairs (MSF), families living in poverty and relying on ComCare assistance jumped 43.45% in the three years between 2012 and 2015, from 20,572 families to 29,511 families. No statistic was given for 2016, but this is the worst poverty result ever officially reported in Singapore.

Elderly above the age of 60 are the most afflicted with a 74.32% jump. This is largely due to the low interest rate and new government restrictions on withdrawal of CPF retirement money.

Graphic from Straits Times

Poverty among younger Singaporeans – aged between 15 and 34 – has also worsened with 41,500 earning below S$1,000 a month as of June 2016. Unemployment rate is 5% for Singaporeans under the age of 30, double that of other age group according to the Ministry of Manpower.

Despite growing poverty, the Singapore ruling party government enjoy higher popularity ratings among Singaporeans. The country’s most recent general elections saw the ruling party winning with a 69.9% majority. There is no Minimum Wage and low income jobs, except for construction workers and domestic helpers, are largely taken by Singaporeans. Well-paid PMET jobs are taken up foreign degree holders, many of whom are fresh graduates from India and China.